Microsoft research boss Craig Mundie to retire in 2014

Craig Mundie Mr Mundie is one of the longest serving executives at Microsoft

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Microsoft's research boss Craig Mundie is stepping down ahead of his retirement in 2014.

A 20-year veteran of the company Mr Mundie has overseen the work of Microsoft's security programme and R&D.

He was picked for the role by Bill Gates in 2008 when the Microsoft co-founder ended his day-to-day involvement with the firm.

Prior to retirement Mr Mundie will act as a senior adviser to Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

Team talk

Since 2008 Mr Mundie ran Microsoft Research, its Trustworthy Computing programme and its technology policy group. These roles let him decide where Microsoft spent its sizeable research budget and how it improved software security.

Responsibility for these roles has now passed to Eric Rudder, formerly Microsoft's chief technical strategy officer.

As an advisor to Mr Ballmer, Mr Mundie will work on "key strategic projects" within Microsoft and liaise with government and businesses "on technology policy, regulation and standards" according to his updated biography on the Microsoft website.

The Seattle Times reported that the move was part of efforts by Mr Ballmer to install a team that could help Microsoft cope with an increasingly mobile and web-centred industry.

Mr Mundie is the second senior executive to step down at the firm in less than a month.

In November Steven Sinofsky, then head of Microsoft's Windows division, left unexpectedly. His departure came only weeks after he choreographed the launch of Windows 8, the most recent version of its flagship operating system.

As the public face of Windows 8, Mr Sinofsky was expected to stay and oversee the continued development of the software and future versions of Windows.

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