Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Top Microsoft M&A and Strategy Exec Charles Songhurst to Depart Company

Charles Songhurst (pictured here), one of Microsoft’s top corporate strategy and M&A execs, is departing the company, according to several sources.

Sources said he was leaving for a new opportunity, and he is not the only big business-development-related departure recently.

Another exec leaving is Senior Director of Corporate Strategy and Acquisitions Fritz Lanman, who TechCrunch reported late yesterday was moving to create a new social start-up called 5Star.

The departure of Songhurst is perplexing, as sources said he has been a favorite of CEO Steve Ballmer.

He also was a key exec in crafting Microsoft’s search and online advertising deal with Yahoo, which was a long and convoluted journey to say the least for the software giant.

But since then, Microsoft has done relatively little in the way of significant acquisitions or big partnership deals, which perhaps might be part of the reason for Songhurst’s departure.

Microsoft declined comment after a BoomTown query.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik