Juniper Lands A Microsoft Vet

A senior Microsoft executive, Kevin Johnson, has been tapped to take the help at Juniper Networks. He'll take over from Scott Kriens as CEO in September. Kriens will remain board chairman. One of the first actions Johnson will take on is filling Juniper's still-vacant COO position.

Both Juniper and Microsoft are dedicated channel companies. Johnson has been a major domo at Microsofthas been with Microsoft for more than 15 years. He headed up woldwide sales and eventually was charged with incorporating the software vendor's traditional businesses with its online services. He also was in charge of Microsoft's unsuccessful bid for Yahoo. Would he have been so eager to leave if that takeover had succeeded? I bet not.

Meanwhile, a Reuters article notes that Wall Street analysts were caught off-guard by the move because the executive succession they've really been waiting for is the one at Cisco, when industry stalwart John Chambers has dominated the corporate culture for years. Chambers is eight years older than Kriens. Maybe so, but I can't imagine Chambers stepping out of the limelight any time soon.

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