President of the Microsoft Business Division, Jeff Raikes, is retiring and will be succeeded in that same role at the end of the month by Juniper Networks’ COO Stephen Elop. The Business Division controls Microsoft Office, Unified Communications, and Microsoft Business Solutions. The announcement comes a day after news of Microsoft M&A chief Bruce Jaffe’s departure.
At one point, Raikes was considered by some to be a potential successor to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The Business Division is home to one of Microsoft’s biggest revenue drivers: Microsoft Office. The role is a critical one for the company at a time when others are trying to make arguments for Web-based alternatives (read: Google Docs).
There’s more discussion of Raikes’ departure and its potential impact at Techmeme.