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Microsoft VP Maritz May Retire

July 28, 1999

SEATTLE (AP) _ Paul Maritz, once considered a likely successor to Microsoft Corp.’s Chairman Bill Gates and President Steve Ballmer, is giving up most of his operational responsibilities and may retire next year, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

The 44-year-old group vice president of Microsoft’s developer group will remain with the software giant for ``the immediate future″ and will join a new ``technical leadership team″ to advise Gates, said Mich Mathews, Microsoft’s vice president.

Maritz’s commitment to the company extends ``at least until the end of the year,″ Mathews said.

Microsoft could not immediately be reached for comment early today.

If Maritz leaves, he will become the latest in a stream of high-level defectors from the company, thanks largely to the wealth the company has generated.

As of last September, Maritz held more than 3.4 million shares of Microsoft stock, currently valued at more than $300 million, and he holds options on many more. Since the beginning of this year, he has sold a total of 900,000 shares, valued at $78.1 million, according to a First Call/Thomson Financial survey.

Maritz joined Microsoft in 1986 and played a major role supervising the development of the Windows 95 and Windows NT operating systems.

His role in the developer group _ targeted at Microsoft’s software developers _ is pivotal in winning the allegiance of independent programmers in the company’s battles with International Business Machines Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and others.

Day-to-day responsibility for that group will fall to David Vaskevitch, a vice president who now reports to Maritz.

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