25 year Microsoft Office and Windows veteran exec Antoine Leblond to depart

Microsoft is losing yet another long time employee, Antoine Leblond, who was a major force behind the company's Office division and later for the development of Windows 8. Re/code reports that Leblond sent out an email to team members late on Friday announcing his departure from Microsoft after nearly 25 years. 

The email stated that his last official day at Microsoft will be on Monday, March 31st, which also happens to be his 9,000th day at the company. Leblond's statement added:

Every single day I have had here has been amazing in its own way, and I will never look back on all of these years with anything but fondness, pride in what we’ve accomplished together, and a real appreciation for having been lucky enough to be part of so many awesome things I am sad to leave all of you, but also incredibly excited for what comes next.

Leblond spent the majority of his time at Microsoft in the Office division but the last five years he was the the corporate vice president of Windows. Working under Steven Sinofsky, Leblond was in charge of the cloud services portion of Windows 8, including its Windows Store feature.

During the recent company reorganization at Microsoft, Leblond was not named as an executive of the new operating systems division led by Terry Myerson, In late 2013, two other major Windows team members who also were not named as part of Myerson's team, Jon DeVaan and Grant George, decided to leave Microsoft.

Leblond's departure email did not indicate where he might be working next, saying only that it was "time for me to go out and see what the non-Microsoft world has to offer."

Source: Re/code | Image via Microsoft

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I find it amusing at what people think and share. A 20+ year career is a long stretch. While some may be leaving for reasons of promotion or lack thereof, that there is a general consensus that with a new direction comes new people in higher level positions and one can only peak so high before not finding no new creative ways to contribute to the team.

And as far as a sinking ship, I think Satya Nadella said it best when he said few companies in this industry last as long as Microsoft and the very few who do do not have the availability of finances like Microsoft does.

People have been saying that the massive reorg was going to take out a lot of middle management. They have too many VPs and so on in each division, it's kind of silly at the sheer number of them though MS isn't a small company. Like I always say when this pops up, out with the old in with the new, someone else will step up, younger, and take over.

I can't help but feel that many of these people that have been leaving the last year or two wanted to progress further up the chain in Microsoft. But since they didn't get the chance to do that, they decided to leave. Or maybe they've been feeling tired / burned out of working on the same thing for so many years.

elenarie said,
I can't help but feel that many of these people that have been leaving the last year or two wanted to progress further up the chain in Microsoft. But since they didn't get the chance to do that, they decided to leave. Or maybe they've been feeling tired / burned out of working on the same thing for so many years.

Probably a combination of both. They probab;y gave it their all and didnt get the reward they hoped to get. Just too many competitors, they cant all become executives. Luckily working at MS for such a long time will probaby get them an executive position in a smaller company.

elenarie said,
these people that have been leaving the last year or two wanted to progress further up the chain in Microsoft. But since they didn't get the chance to do that, they decided to leave.

That's pretty much the situation in a nutshell. They screwed up many things in Windows 8 and because of that, the entire Windows team was reorganized and none of the Windows 8 people got a promotion. Instead of accepting different/lower positions, they leave for other companies where they may/may not shine. It's a pretty simple business relation dynamic, it makes sense.

That said, I'm glad all the Synofski people are gone: they did many things right but for each and every one of them they also made a wrong decision. I have faith that Myerson's team will build on this and do better than Synofski's team did.

And are we NOT seeing that most of these folks have been with Microsoft for twenty-years plus? That is a long period to be with a single company. While they are still LOOKING "young", they all have substantial careers under their belts. Oh noes - they aren't staying until they are wheeled out in an ambulance or a pine box.

Sheesh - Microsoft isn't IBM.

Jason Stillion said,
Despite the public reacting to Windows 8, Sikorsky is also the one that got Windows 7 finished up and out the door as well.

And Office.

BTW, why is everyone on an anti-Sinofsky tirade now? Yes, the guy might have held Microsoft back by the way he ran things, but he also did some amazing work while he was with the company.

Jason Stillion said,
Despite the public reacting to Windows 8, Sikorsky is also the one that got Windows 7 finished up and out the door as well.
Only Sikorsky I know of is a chopper. :)

Dot Matrix said,
BTW, why is everyone on an anti-Sinofsky tirade now?
Only thing people in general know him for is Win8. The average person no doubt had never heard of him earlier but once Win8 hit the fan, so to speak, his name was plastered all over the net as the main "culprit" responsible.

Romero said,
Only Sikorsky I know of is a chopper. :)

Only thing people in general know him for is Win8. The average person no doubt had never heard of him earlier but once Win8 hit the fan, so to speak, his name was plastered all over the net as the main "culprit" responsible.


Sinofsky was the one that killed Direct Ink in Office ( he did not like the Tablet idea), being a megalomaniac unable to hear criticism, no matter how constructive ones, destroyed MS Beta tester program,, shipped Office 2007 with Outlook without Ribbon....

Romero said,
Don't you mean he shipped Office 2007 with the Ribbon?

Initially I wrote "Office 2007 with Outlook with Ribbon" instead of "without Ribbon" and I cannot edit posts from my 920 therefore I added a second post.... misspelled again; when I got home I corrected the original post from the computer.
Not sure if it is Neowin or it is time to replace my 920.

Cosmocronos said,

Sinofsky was the one that killed Direct Ink in Office ( he did not like the Tablet idea), being a megalomaniac unable to hear criticism, no matter how constructive ones, destroyed MS Beta tester program,, shipped Office 2007 with Outlook without Ribbon....

Office still has Direct Ink. Office has always had inking capabilities since tablet XP era...

Dot Matrix said,

Office still has Direct Ink. Office has always had inking capabilities since tablet XP era...


My mistake: I meant to type Direct input (using a pen); not sure if it was removed in office 2003 or 2007. It was surely there in Office XP though.