I'm staying up late to write a shoutout to Sandy Khaund, who is moving on to a new gig He'll be doing the startup thing in San Francisco and bringing the same energy, management skills, and no doubt baseball bat to his new team. I take great pride in being part of the fire hose and the scars part of the farewell blog post. :)
Seriously though, Sandy was a key boss for me at Microsoft in a number of ways. For one thing, he truly "got" community and he loved the innovation that community technologies represent. He was also a well-rounded manager - he had a knack for bringing out my best work, and that of all the other folks on the team. Korby Parnell, who went off to Yahoo recently, pretty much learned everything he knows about product management from Sandy (Korby of course already knew the community stuff before they met; Korby was the biggest wiki fan outside of Ward Cunningham I ever met). You couldn't help learning business angles from Sandy; it's all that Wharton training coming out.
One of the toughest conversations Sandy and I ever had was when I left his team to go work on Live QnA, but he supported it because he felt like going over to the Windows Live/MSN world would teach me stuff I wasn't going to get if I stayed where I was comfortable. That's the way I feel about him leaving Microsoft. It's a bummer because Microsoft is losing out - but on the other hand, you don't know startup in SF til you've done it, and it's a wide, wild, world opening up for him.
And you never know in the high tech world - you think you get rid of someone, and they come back to haunt ya. :).
Best of luck Sandy!
PS I promised Raymond tonight I would confess to being his minion, since for no reason at all I was willing to agree Rory Blyth is a fish pirate. If you'd like to become a minion of Raymond's, let him know on his blog. I'm not sure how people actually go about becoming fish pirates.