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Microsoft veteran Valentine moving to Amazon
Seattle Times technology reporter
Brian Valentine, a veteran Microsoft executive and leader in the effort to build its next-generation operating system, left the company Friday and will begin work at Amazon.com later this month.
Valentine, who was senior vice president of the Windows Core Operating System Division, decided to leave now that the company has shipped Release Candidate 1 (RC1), a near-final version of Windows Vista, according to an e-mail from Microsoft's public relations agency.
After 19 years at Microsoft, Valentine will join Amazon as a senior vice president in mid-September, said Patty Smith, a company spokeswoman. She would not say what role he will play at the Seattle-based Internet retailer.
"We're delighted to have him," Smith said. "
Valentine's parting with Microsoft appears to be amiable.
"Brian played a critical leadership role and his contribution to the success of many Microsoft products is significant and indelible," a spokeswoman said in the e-mail. "Microsoft wishes him well on his next challenge outside the company."
Microsoft said in early August that Valentine, along with other Windows Division executives, would get an undisclosed new assignment within Microsoft on completion of Vista.
Microsoft shipped RC1 on Friday to a select group of outside software testers. The code is being made broadly available to as many as 5 million people starting this week.
Valentine, who at one time may have been in line to succeed outgoing Windows head Jim Allchin, was described as a Gen. George Patton-like figure within Microsoft, an inspiring leader who "drives the troops forward," Rob Helm, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, said when the company announced the Windows Division reshuffle.
"He's tired, I'm guessing, because he's famous for pushing the team," Helm said at the time. "I don't know what new role he'll be seeking, but he's done an awful lot for the company."
Benjamin J. Romano: firstname.lastname@example.org
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