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Key Microsoft Exec Quits

Veteran Mike Nash is leaving Redmond, the latest in a string of departures to hit the software maker.
Microsoft executive Mike Nash, corporate VP for Windows Platform Strategy, is leaving the company. Microsoft has confirmed his departure, but did not provide an explanation as to why the 19-year veteran is fleeing Redmond.

Nash's move is the latest in a string of executive resignations to hit Microsoft in recent months.

Bill Veghte, who most recently was senior VP for the company's Windows division, announced his plans to move on from the software maker last month. The exodus of Windows execs comes even as the OS is experiencing a sales rebound, thanks to the October debut of Windows 7.

Sales of Microsoft's Windows operating system jumped 70% year-over-year, to $6.9 billion, in the company's most recent quarter. Windows sales attributed to Microsoft's PC-making "OEM" partners, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo, jumped 21%. OEMs account for about 80% of Microsoft's total Windows sales.

Nash follows several other key Microsoft executives out the door.

Alex Kochis, who was the director of Microsoft's Genuine Software program, disclosed his resignation in a New Year's Eve blog post titled "Happy New Year and Goodbye." Kochis said he intends to continue working to thwart software piracy, but did not disclose any specific plans.

The list of relatively recent defectors from Redmond also includes former CFO Chris Liddell, former data center chief Debra Chrapaty, former Windows head Kevin Johnson, former Windows technical lead Rob Short, and former chief media officer Joanne Bradford.

Liddell was recently named chief financial officer at General Motors. Liddell was replaced as Microsoft's CFO by corporate VP Peter Klein.

Microsoft shares were off 2.76%, to $27.84, in NASDAQ trading Thursday.

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