Microsoft shuffles execs

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In a shakeup at Microsoft, two key executives who were overseeing the development of Microsoft's Sidewalk have been moved to new jobs only three months before the local online network was scheduled to unveil its first sites in Seattle and New York.

As part of the move, insiders said that the Information Business Unit - which included such Internet-based projects as Sidewalk (formerly Cityscape), Mungo Park, Car Point and Cinemania - has been renamed Interactive Service Media. Richard Tait, who was heading the business development for Sidewalk, has been moved upstairs as the new director of business strategy for the newly named unit. In addition, Michael Goff, former editor of Out 1MDUL11MDNM1who was recruited last year as the editor-in-chief of Sidewalk, moves to editorial director of the new unit.

While some sources were buzzing that the moves were the result of personality clashes as Cityscape evolved into Sidewalk and was slated for a national rollout later this year, Mr. Goff insisted that everything was cordial and that the new move is a promotion. "It was definitely a surprise to me," he conceded, but added, "it's an amazing opportunity." The editorial lead on Sidewalk now goes to executive editor Richard Gordon, formerly with the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. Mr. Goff said he will still play a role in its development. "I'm dealing with other services and their editorial missions on a whole," he said. "It doesn't change the strategy for Sidewalk, Cinemania, Mungo Park, Expedia or Car Point," he said, referring to Microsoft's other Internet-based ventures.

Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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