Microsoft fires CIO over company policy violation

Microsoft’s CIO, Stuart Scott, has been fired, the company confirmed on Tuesday. Microsoft would not share details beyond saying that Scott was let go after an investigation for violation of company policies.

Scott was initially hired in a somewhat novel arrangement: He shared the role of CIO with Ron Markezich. However, Markezich has since dropped his CIO title and taken on the position of vice-president of managed solutions at Microsoft.

Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s COO, announced Scott’s termination in a memo sent to employees on Monday. Scott, who was unavailable for comment, was rumored to have been placed on administrative leave more than a month ago.

Microsoft declined to comment on when it expects to hire a permanent replacement for Scott. The company said that in the interim, his duties will be shared by two people: Shahla Aly, general manager of worldwide services, strategy and planning, and Alain Crozier, corporate vice-president and chief financial officer at Microsoft’s sales, marketing and services group.

Scott, who was a corporate vice-president at Microsoft, joined the company in late 2005 as co-CIO and was given full control of the IT department late last year. Before being hired by Microsoft, he spent 17 years at General Electric Co., where he most recently was CIO of the GE Industrial Systems division.

His unexplained firing recalls the similarly abrupt departure in June 2006 of Martin Taylor, a high-profile marketing executive who left without explanation after 13 years at Microsoft. Taylor is now a principal at Vista Equity Partners, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm.

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