Paul Maritz, vice president of Microsoft's developer group, has decided to step back from most of his operational duties but is not resigning, a spokeswoman from the company's public-relations firm said.
"He has not decided to leave the company," said the Waggener Edstrom spokeswoman, who requested anonymity.
Leadership responsibilities for the developer group are to be shared by Maritz and one of his subordinate vice presidents, David Vaskevitch, which the spokeswoman said is "not a major change."
"This will just formalise a structure that's been in place for several months, since Microsoft's reorganisation," she said.
She confirmed that Maritz decided to defer some of his responsibilities for personal reasons, adding, "It will also free Paul up to spend time concentrating on development strategies in collaboration with [Microsoft chairman and chief executive officer] Bill [Gates]."
The spokeswoman said 44-year-old Maritz, who joined Microsoft in 1986, will also have continuing responsibilities as a member of a newly formed "technical leadership team" to advise Gates, but could offer no more details on that.
The news marks the latest in a series of departures and voluntarily scaled-back responsibilities in Microsoft's executive ranks in recent months, which has included those of Chief Technology Officer Nathan Myhrvold, and vice presidents Pete Higgins and John Ludwig.
Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-882-8080 or at http://www.microsoft.com.