Microsoft research lead Craig Mundie announces 2014 retirement

We're learning that Microsoft will soon be losing another of its key players, as Research lead Craig Mundie has announced that he will retire from the company in 2014. Before he does that, though, he'll be stepping down from his current position at Microsoft to become an adviser to CEO Steve Ballmer. Previously, he served as the boss of Microsoft's R&D department and lead the charge for the company's security program.

Mundie has held those positions since 2008, while he's worked for Microsoft for the past 20 years. Now those duties will pass onto Eric Rudder as Mundie transitions into his advisory role. Mundie's biography on Microsoft's site has already been updated to reflect the change, saying that in his role as adviser to Ballmer, he'll work on "on key strategic projects within the company, as well as with government and business leaders around the world on technology policy, regulation and standards."

The Seattle Times says Mundie's retirement paves the way for Microsoft to create teams that focus specifically on the mobile and Internet spaces. Not much surprise there, as we've seen the smartphone market explode while PC sales decline. Hearing that, it really isn't any wonder that Microsoft wants to diversify its focus and put even more resources into mobile.

This isn't the first high-profile Microsoft departure we've heard about this year. Last month, Windows boss Steven Sinofsky announced that he was leaving the company only a couple of weeks after the launch of Windows 8. Couple that with Mundie's incoming departure, and there should certainly be some big changes at Microsoft. Stay tuned.

[via BBC]