Microsoft replaces Mac Business Unit GM

Months before it was to release a major update of its Office suite, Microsoft has replaced the general manager of its Macintosh Business Unit.

Roz Ho, who spent seven years with the Mac BU including the last four as its general manager, is joining the Entertainment & Devices Division. Her replacement is Craig Eisler, who rejoined Microsoft in February after serving as the general manager of AOL Wireless. He had worked at Microsoft previously as development manager of DirectX.

“Microsoft and Apple are both great companies in their own right, and working in Mac BU, I get to experience the best of both worlds,” Eisler wrote in a blog posting announcing his hiring.

“With Craig’s deep background in technology and product development, his demonstrated business leadership, and his respect for Apple, I have every confidence that he will continue to drive a productive relationship with Apple and carry on the Macintosh Business Unit’s tradition of delivering outstanding native Mac productivity software,” corporate vice president Tom Gibbons said in a statement provided by Microsoft.

Eisler takes over the Mac BU as Microsoft is overhauling its flagship Mac product, Microsoft Office for the Mac. Microsoft previewed Office 2008 at Macworld Expo in January and said the Intel-native productivity suite would ship in the second half of this year. A Microsoft spokesperson indicated that the management change would not have an effect on the release schedule for Office 2008.

Ho was appointed head of the Mac BU in December 2002, replacing Kevin Browne. Prior to her general manager stint, she oversaw product development, management and testing for Entourage, Outlook Express, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer and MSN for Mac OS X. Ho joined the Macintosh Business Unit in 2000.

Editor’s note: Added comment from Microsoft spokesperson about the change’s effect on Office 2008 .

This article was reposted at 3:31 p.m. PT on June 8, 2007, to correct information about Roz Ho’s length of service at the Macintosh Business Unit.

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