Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft's chief technology officer, is leaving Microsoft on 1 July to enjoy a one year's sabbatical pursuing personal and scientific interests.
Myhrvold heads Microsoft's $3 billion research department and Microsoft said there will be no interim replacement during his absence. Rick Rashid, vice president of research, will continue in his current position.
A UK spokesman said his departure has nothing to do with Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's bullish president, despite a report in Time magazine claiming that Myhrvold was being pushed out by Ballmer because he spent too much time on his own pursuits.
Ballmer masterminded a company reorgansiation earlier this year and Myhrvold, who has been with Microsoft since 1986, no longer reports directly to chief executive Bill Gates.
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