Windows Phone developer head leaves Microsoft

Microsoft's Windows Phone division has yet another high end defection to deal with. ZDNet reports that Brandon Watson, the head of developer experiences for Windows Phone, has announced he is leaving Microsoft. Watson is heading over to Amazon where the report says he will become the director of the Cross Platform team for Amazon's Kindle division.

In an email, Watson said, " ... it was a hard decision, but the opportunity placed in front of me that was too big to pass up." There's no word on who will be replacing Watson as the leader of Windows Phone developer experiences.

This is just the latest major executive departure for Microsoft's Windows Phone division. In December the president of the division, Andy Lees, left that position for a rather vague role at Microsoft that seems to involve both Windows Phone and Windows 8. Terry Myerson took over his duties. Matt Bencke, the general manager for Windows Phone's Developer and Marketplace team, was also moved to a new job in the Xbox Live division in December.

With the recent launch of Nokia's Windows Phone-based devices, it looks like Microsoft will have a lot of new faces in the division that will help to steer Windows Phone development in 2012. It should be a critical year for the business, especially as information about Windows Phone 8, the next major update to the OS, starts to leak out.

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19 Comments

pack34 said,
It sounds like Amazon really threw some money at him.

It's like any job though. An opportunity like this would only present itself once, and if you don't take it, you'll regret it later on.

what said,

It's like any job though. An opportunity like this would only present itself once, and if you don't take it, you'll regret it later on.

I completely agree. You need to look after your family first and not play favorites with companies. I don't blame him for taking the job one bit.

Andy, Charlie, and now Brandon. Why is everyone leaving microsoft when it is having its most exciting year ahead? idonotunderstand.jpg

FalseAgent said,
Andy, Charlie, and now Brandon. Why is everyone leaving microsoft when it is having its most exciting year ahead? idonotunderstand.jpg

You get a better job with better salary, most people would take it.

And you never know, this might work out in Microsoft's favor. Elop (CEO of Nokia) worked for Microsoft before joining Nokia, and now the two companies work closely together. Same thing could happen here, we might end up seeing a Windows Phone from Amazon.

FalseAgent said,
Andy, Charlie, and now Brandon. Why is everyone leaving microsoft when it is having its most exciting year ahead? idonotunderstand.jpg

Andy is still at Microsoft - and he's heading the Windows 8 / Windows Phone 8 integration and features. Which for some reason people spun as a demotion...

FalseAgent said,
Andy, Charlie, and now Brandon. Why is everyone leaving microsoft when it is having its most exciting year ahead? idonotunderstand.jpg

Charlie the Unicorn worked at microsoft???

I guess he did go to Candy Mountain after all.....

MrXXIV said,
What's up with all the Microsoft officials leaving so suddenly?

its not just MS, Apple has a lot of people leaving too, you just dont hear about them for some reason, one of their bigger marketing heads left to go to JCPenny and is now the CEO of that... in 2 days on the job he made the company (JCPenny) 1.5 Billion in stock value *blinks*

neufuse said,

its not just MS, Apple has a lot of people leaving too, you just dont hear about them for some reason, one of their bigger marketing heads left to go to JCPenny and is now the CEO of that... in 2 days on the job he made the company (JCPenny) 1.5 Billion in stock value *blinks*

MS need to hear that guy! *parp*

Though it's a shame Brandon's leaving, I find it odd to make a connection between his leaving and Andy and Terry moving to different positions WITHIN Microsoft (and positions that involve Windows Phone at that)... I think it's a good idea for Microsoft to keep moving people around so that there is always new blood on these projects. They clearly don't want to become stale again, and I applaud them for that.

M_Lyons10 said,
Though it's a shame Brandon's leaving, I find it odd to make a connection between his leaving and Andy and Terry moving to different positions WITHIN Microsoft (and positions that involve Windows Phone at that)... I think it's a good idea for Microsoft to keep moving people around so that there is always new blood on these projects. They clearly don't want to become stale again, and I applaud them for that.

You do realise this is the internet dont you, how very dare you talk so much sense and logic, the nerve!

M_Lyons10 said,
Though it's a shame Brandon's leaving, I find it odd to make a connection between his leaving and Andy and Terry moving to different positions WITHIN Microsoft (and positions that involve Windows Phone at that)... I think it's a good idea for Microsoft to keep moving people around so that there is always new blood on these projects. They clearly don't want to become stale again, and I applaud them for that.

Andy's new position does involve Windows Phone - technically Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

The title is hyping as they often do... see, he was the head of developer relations, not head of developers, an idea that slips into the mind's background when you read 'developer head'. I'm sure amazon just offered him enough that it wasn't worth microsoft's while to pay and keep him. Microsoft is all about developers, so it's not as if they're suffering a shortage in this department.

Its probably a money issue. Amazon threw alot his way probably. It wasnt location because he already lives here in Washington. Besides, who would you rather work for, Ballmer or Bezos.

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