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Julie Larson-Green (center) shows off the Microsoft Surface to former journalists Katie Boehret and Walt Mossberg. (Photo via Julie Larson-Green)

Six months after she took on a new role for health reasons, and 25 years after she first joined the company, Julie Larson-Green has decided to leave Microsoft and start something new.

Larson-Green confirmed ZDNet’s report that today is her last day at Microsoft. In May, the former leader of Microsoft’s hardware efforts and later its Office team took a new role as she recovered from back surgery.

Julie Larson-Green (via LinkedIn)

“While I was recovering from my surgery, with Microsoft’s support, I was able to spend time on my passion for advising companies on building customer-first products and creating a great company culture,” she wrote in an email to GeekWire. “After 25 years at Microsoft, I’m taking the opportunity to continue to do that work and pursue new adventures.”

Larson-Green held a number of senior leadership roles at Microsoft over the years, playing key roles in the development of Windows, Office, and the Surface tablet. She was most recently Microsoft’s Chief Experience Officer for the Office Experience Organization, before taking on a role working across different teams as she focused on healing her back.

A gathering of Microsoft vice presidents around 2006. Larson-Green is centered in the second row, behind former CEO Steve Ballmer. (Photo via Julie Larson-Green)

It’s going to be hard for Microsoft to fill the shoes of someone with institutional knowledge and leadership ability of Larson-Green. Former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky, who she replaced as head of the Windows team after Sinofsky left the company, shared praise for her career on Facebook and with GeekWire.

From the time we met at the C++ compiler bake-off at the Northrop building all the way through Windows 8/Surface and everything in between you have been instrumental to so much of what Microsoft achieved in Windows and Office. You’ve been an amazing leader to so many at the company and leave an incredible legacy in all the people you collaborated with, managed, hired, and mentored. You deserve much credit for the human side of Microsoft’s main products over the years and that will be something hard to replicate.

After the shift in her role in May, a Microsoft representative said employees under Larson-Green are now reporting to Jeff Teper, who is responsible for Office, SharePoint and OneDrive. “We thank Julie for the numerous contributions she’s made to Microsoft over the last 25 years, and we wish her the very best in her new endeavors,” the company said in a statement.

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