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On leaving Microsoft


After close to six years, I’m doing something that I sometimes thought I’d never do - leaving Microsoft. I’m also doing something that I’ve always wanted to do - move to the San Francisco Bay Area and be a part of the culture and ecosystem there. I’m first going to take some time off and then do the exciting thing of trying to figure out what to work on next.

Here’s the mail I sent out to friends and co-workers at Microsoft today. Microsoft has been amazing to me and I’ll be forever grateful to the people and the company for what they’ve given me. Like I say in the mail, it is a remarkable company and I’m proud to have been a part of it.

From: Sriram Krishnan 
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 5:44 PM
Subject: Farewell Mail: SriramK has left the building

_tl:dr I'm leaving Microsoft after 5 years and moving to
California. I don't know what I'm doing next but it will be
around building products for sure. Read on for the long version

I always imagined my last day at Microsoft will end with me being
fired and getting carried out by some burly security guys as I
kick and scream. And as a finishing touch, they'll come dump my
belongings on me in the parking lot as I crawl sadly away with
the camera panning out to gloomy music. I'm honestly a bit
surprised that hasn't happened given all the crazy things I've
done over the years. For some weird reason, Microsoft has been
surprisingly nice to me and even chose to trust me with bigger
and bigger things.
I joined this company before I was legally allowed to drink -
it's the only company I've ever worked for. At a time when I
wasn't sure what to do with my life, Microsoft gave me a place
where I belonged, where I fit in. I've got to do some amazing
things here. I got to build developer tools used by millions,
consumer websites, super scalable infrastructure stuff and design
APIs called a gazillion times a day. I got to travel the world
and work with execs from the biggest companies in the world. I
got to fulfill a childhood dream and write a book. I got
interviewed in the NYTimes. I've done some crazy things (I once
stopped a riot at a conference by quelling a 5000-strong mob) and
I got to meet and hang out with my heroes (hi DaveC! :) ). I even
wound up marrying an amazing woman who joined Microsoft with me.
Most of all, I've got to know some amazing people. I’ve had some
great managers, mentors, colleagues and peers who have set a high
bar for any future workplace to match. I've made so many amazing
friends here who'll be friends for life.

For people outside, it's hard to understand how much of a family
Microsoft can be. It’s simple really, you have everything here -
the competitive siblings, the wise aunt, the supportive parents,
the crazy uncle (ok - maybe more than a few crazy uncles). Above
all else, a place to call *home*. It has been home to me for most
of my adult life and leaving now feels like leaving my parent’s
house to college.
As for what's next, I really don't know yet. No, this is not some
clichéd phrase like “spending more time with family” or “moving
on to bigger challenges” – I really don’t know :). I do know I'm
moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. But after that, I only
imagine I'll be involved with something that involves building
products because that’s what I love to do.
My favorite Star Trek episode of all time is a TNG episode called
the "Inner Light". (Spoiler Alert) In that episode, Picard gets
to live a lifetime of experiences in the blink of an eye. In a
way, that's how my time at MSFT has been - a lifetime of
experiences and people compressed into a very short time.
Thank you for giving me the privilege of working with you and of
being a part of this remarkable company.
You can contact me on this new 'Electronic Mail' thing that the
kids are talking about at XXXX or on Twitter (@sriramk)
or on LinkedIn (
I'll see you around on the interwebs.

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