In an email to company employees, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie will be leaving the company after an unspecified transition period. Ozzie joined the company in 2005 when Microsoft aquired his Groove Networks. In June 2006 he was named Chief Software Architect, filling the position former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates had occupied before he left the company. Ozzie is well known for his work in the cloud, and in the company letter Ballmer commends him for ”position[ing] [Microsoft] well for future success.”
As a company, we’ve accomplished much in the past five years as we look at the cloud and services. Windows Live now serves as a natural web-based services complement to both Windows and Office. SharePoint and Exchange have now decidedly embraced the cloud. And by conceiving, incubating and shepherding Windows Azure, Ray helped ensure we have a tremendously rich platform foundation that will enable app-level innovation across the company and by customers for years to come.
Ozzie’s reason for departure is undisclosed, and Microsoft has no plans to fill the “unique” CSA role. Click the source link to read the letter in full.
Last night FOX released a press statement informing American Idol fans that judge Kara DioGuardi is leaving the show. DioGuardi says: ”I felt like I won the lottery when I joined American Idol two years ago, but I feel like now is the best time to leave Idol. I am very proud to have been associated with American Idol — it has truly been an amazing experience. I am grateful to FOX, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, as well as the cast, crew and contestants, for all they have given to me. I look forward to my next challenge, and want to thank everyone who has supported me. All the best to everyone on Season 10!” AI creator and executive producer Simon Fuller shared his sentiments on the matter: “Kara is one of the world’s best songwriters. She has been passionate and committed to Idol over the last two seasons. I will miss having her on the show, but I look forward to working with her in music for many years to come.”
DioGuardi is the third judge to leave the show prior to the start of the tenth season. Simon Cowell bid farewell last season and Ellen DeGeneres departed in July. Randy Jackson remains the last dawg standing. The latest reports pin Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as likely replacements. Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe publically stated that he wishes for the show to return to a three-person judges panel. Season 10 premieres in January 2011, so it’s just a matter of time before we are informed about the new slate of judges.
Ellen DeGeneres has decided to call it quits after only one year as the judge who just couldn’t fit in on American Idol. Today FOX released two statements, one from DeGeneres and the other from the network itself.
DeGeneres: “A couple months ago, I let Fox and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me. I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for. I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings. I loved the experience working on IDOL and I am very grateful for the year I had. I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”
Peter Rice, FOX Chairman of Entertainment: “We love Ellen and understand and support her decision to bow out of Idol. We were fortunate to receive the humor, energy and love for talent that she brought to the show.”
According to the latest reports, American Idol creator Simon Fuller will be back for season 10, and he hopes to bring new judges to the panel. Judge Simon Cowell left the show to produce the American version of The X Factor, and this leaves a huge gap to fill. Justin Timberlake and Elton John are currently in talks with the network concerning this matter. The state of Kara Dioguardi and our main dawg Randy Jackson remains up in the air until a final decision is made. The Television Critics Tour begins this Monday; it would be wise for FOX to steal the show by announcing an exciting new panel of judges there.
Update: According to a report from Deadline, Jennifer Lopez will take DeGeneres’ place as a new American Idol judge for season 10. FOX and JLo’s reps have yet to comment on the breaking news. Deadline also spills that “unconfirmed reports” target Steven Tyler as a possible Cowell replacement (that’s in addition to Justin Timberlake and Elton John).
After six years as ABC Entertainment Group President, Steve McPherson has resigned from the company. When McPherson first took the reins of the ABC primetime lineup the network was stuck in fourth place behind direct competitors CBS, FOX, and NBC. Throughout his career as president he oversaw many of ABC’s well known hits and misses. He had a hand in launching the uber-successful primetime dramas like Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, and Desperate Housewives; the new Wednesday night comedy lineup including Modern Family, Cougartown, and The Middle; and one of most watched reality programs Dancing With the Stars. During his early days, though, he was there when the network overplayed “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” until its eventual cancellation. He has also been faulted with not pushing hard enough for procedural dramas (like CBS’ The Mentalist) as opposed to the heavily serialized shows like Lost. As great as a show Lost was (and always will be), shows like it are hard to repeat and syndicate once they are completed. His final year with ABC (2009-2010) landed the network in third place, just 150,000 viewers ahead of NBC.
The sudden resignation comes on the heels of the Summer TV Press Tour 2010, a time when the big networks show off and promote their fall TV lineups. Yesterday “an informed source” leaked information saying that McPherson was tied up in a formal investigation conducted by ABC related to sexual harrassment crimes. ABC has not responded to comment, nor have they denied the rumors. McPherson’s lawyer states that his client “made a voluntary decision to resign, and ABC accepted his resignation. It is not uncommon for high-level executives to be the subject of gossip and innuendo.” Whatever the case may be, McPherson is out and a replacement has not been decided upon yet. ABC Family president Paul Lee, riding high on his recent teen-hit Pretty Little Liars, is expected to occupy the now-vacant position. McPherson’s parting words:
“I want to thank the wonderful team of individuals who have worked with me throughout my time here and wish them nothing but the best.”
Update: It’s official. Paul Lee is the new ABC Entertainment Group President and will oversee the network’s primetime lineup and its sister company, ABC Studios. If he can do to ABC what he did with ABC Family (Kyle XY, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Pretty Little Liars, Greek) this network might have a fighting chance against behemoths FOX and CBS.
You read that right, folks. At the end of the upcoming seventh season of NBC’s The Office star Steve Carell will leave his post as moronic boss Michael Scott. His contract is up next season and he simply wants to spend more time with his family. In his words: “I just think it’s time. I want to fulfill my contract. When I first signed on I had a contract for seven seasons, and this coming year is my seventh. I just thought it was time for my character to go.” With Michael Scott of out the picture, can the show still go on? According to Carell the answer is a resounding yes. “It doesn’t certainly mean the end of the show. I think it’s just a dynamic change to the show, which could be a good thing, actually. Add some new life and some new energy…I see it as a positive in general for the show.” When news broke of his potential exit from the show, he quickly became a trending topic on Twitter; fans were pretty upset. Carell addressed the reaction, too. “I didn’t see it as a huge thing and I certainly didn’t anticipate any sort of hubbub over it. I’m just not going to extend my contract, but I didn’t see it as a huge deal. And the show is great, and the ensemble is so strong, and the writers are great, so it’s just one part of that ensemble drifting off. They’ve incorporated so many new characters and so many new, great storylines that I have no doubt it’ll continue as strong if not stronger than ever.” While that is likely true, the show will not be the same with Carell absent. Though negociations are still open for debate, it certainly seems like Carell is ready to call it quits. And that’s what she said.