It is that time of year when Microsofties tend to look for new opportunities. And perhaps the most notable departure this week comes from former Powerset CEO Barney Pell — a former development manager for Bing — who Tweeted that he was returning to become a “full-time angel investor and parallel entrepreneur.
Pell’s departure comes almost exactly three years after Microsoft acquired San Francisco-based Powerset for a rumored price of as much as $100 million.
It is unclear whether Pell will pursue his entrepreneurial and angel activities in the Seattle area. But he does have connections here, serving on the board of lunar exploration company Moon Express with entrepreneur Naveen Jain.
Meanwhile, ReadWriteWeb reports that ZuneHD business development lead Dave McLauchlan and Windows 7 gaming project manager Ruchit Garg also announced that they are leaving the company. “People come and people go from companies all the time, but for three well-known names from Microsoft to depart in one day has got to be dispiriting,” writes Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb. “Hopefully, when smart people leave giant companies, it means they will create something new and fabulous elsewhere.”
At a recent panel discussion, Seattle entrepreneur Dave Schappell predicted that there would be a brain drain at Microsoft in September.
“September 15th is coming. That’s the big exodus from Microsoft every year. Bonuses are set. Cash is coming,” said Schappell, who runs Seattle-based TeachStreet. “And startups and Facebook, Google, Amazon — we are all ready to recruit out of that resigning class. And that’s why (the Silicon Valley companies) are here.”