A controversial Microsoft executive quietly stepped down from his post as senior vice president this week to take on as yet unknown "special projects" for the company. Joachim Kempin, who came to public prominence during his February 1999 stint on the stand during the Microsoft trial, was responsible for the company's deals with PC makers, which are widely regarded as being amongst the most one-sided in corporate history. Kempin apparently rewarded those PC makers who met Microsoft's demands with a lower price on Windows; PC makers such as IBM who complained about the software giant's terms were punished with higher prices. Kempin admitted during the trial only that certain high-volume PC makers received "letters of exception" that allowed them to get lower pricing on Windows.
Kempin, a 17-year Microsoft veteran, will be replaced on July 1st by Richard Roy, who is currently the general manager of Microsoft's German subsidiary. "He's ready to do some other stuff," a Microsoft spokesperson said of Kempin