Tony Scott
Tony Scott

[Updated below with Microsoft confirmation and statement.]

Tony Scott, who oversaw Microsoft’s internal IT operations for more than five years as the company’s CIO, has exited the position, based on the word leaking out of the company this weekend.

Scott’s personal LinkedIn profile now lists him as Microsoft’s “former” CIO, and we’re hearing separately that Microsoft announced the news internally to staff late last week.

Update, 2:50 p.m.: Microsoft has now confirmed the news, releasing this statement: “Tony Scott decided to depart Microsoft to focus on personal projects. While at Microsoft, Tony was a strong IT leader passionate about taking Microsoft’s technology to the next level and using our experiences and learnings to help customers and partners. We thank Tony for his contributions and wish him well.”

Microsoft says Jim Dubois, its vice president of IT product and services management, will serve as interim CIO.

Scott’s exit is notable in part because of the role played by Microsoft’s IT department as the first customer of the company’s business groups — rolling out new products for use and testing across the company, prior to public release, in a process commonly known as “dogfooding.” That’s a critical function in addition to the fundamental role of IT in running, securing and maintaining Microsoft’s internal systems.

The change happens to come on the eve of the company’s TechEd conference for IT pros and enterprise developers. Scott, a veteran of companies including General Motors and Bristol-Meyers Squibb, joined Microsoft in 2008 after serving as Disney’s CIO.

Update, 6:40 p.m.: Scott confirms via email that it was his choice to leave the company, and his last day was Friday. He explains, “My dad passed away at Easter time, so taking a little time to get my mother re-settled, get my instrument rating done (I’m a pilot), and work on a couple of other long delayed personal projects. Will go back to ‘work’ (in some form) in a few months, but right now just focusing on the above.”

Scott’s successor as CIO might have a somewhat different role than in the past, says Rob Helm, research director at the independent Directions on Microsoft research firm. Helm explains, “Customer-facing services like Office 365 play a much bigger role testing new products now, making ‘dogfooding’ less critical than it was.”

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  • StrakMak

    OK wow, now thats exactly what I am talking about dude.

  • paco cornholio

    Whenever I hear the word ‘learnings’ I think of Idiocracy.

  • Anonymouse

    So Mr. Smiley is in charge? God help the employees in MSIT…

  • Guest

    Welcome June, July and August when the Blue Badges fall like leaves in the fall.

    And with the horrible Windows 8, Windows Phone and Surface numbers you can bet that this will be a very very bloody summer in Redmond.

    Word from inside already is that it’s shaping up to be the worst review cycle ever.

  • Guest

    Thank you, Tony. I never worked with you but you will be missed.

  • Sir Michael Rocks

    Best to leave before you get a 4 or a 5 rating on your annual review in case you ever want to come back. In fact some companies like eBay, want to know your review history as part of their hiring process.

  • NathanMurvold

    MS IT is totally broken. I didn’t see him making it any better over the years, it has only gotten worse. I’ve seen so many $10 million MSIT projects fail when they could have purchased a solution for $500k.

    Oh, we can build that…. Kind of like the government I guess…

  • guest

    Uh huh. When is the real problem, Ballmer, going to “spend more time with his family”?

  • Guest

    You can call it “MS IT” but it will always be ITG to me.

  • Steve

    I was thinking about this today. Tony left pretty quickly. His organization already transitions to a new executive. No transition time unlike Peter Klein who is still there doing his transition.

    Tony says he’ll have another job in a couple months once he gets done doing whatever he is doing.

    You know, if you are an exec at Microsoft and need a couple months to get some personal things in order, you can easily ask and it gets granted.

    You just don’t leave that quickly.

    Smells a bit fishy to me…

    • Guest

      There’s no question about it – Tony did not “decide” to leave on his own. He was asked/told to leave.

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