Microsoft Dealmaker Calls It Quits

The executive largely responsible for last summer’s blockbuster $6 billion acquisition of online advertising giant aQuantive, as well as a slew of other deals, is leaving Microsoft.

A company spokesperson on Thursday confirmed that Bruce Jaffe, vice president of corporate development, has resigned after 12 years with the software maker.

No reason was given for his departure, although tech gossip site Valleywag is lofting rumors that Jaffe may be starting his own firm.

Jaffe will remain aboard until February 29.

“Bruce’s contribution to Microsoft’s growth is much appreciated and we wish him well in his next endeavor,” the spokesperson told in an e-mail.

“During Bruce’s two-year tenure in this particular role, we did nearly 50 deals including aQuantive, Tellme, and the Facebook investment,” the spokesperson added. The company declined to comment on whether or not Jaffe played a role in the proposed $1.2 billion acquisition of Norwegian corporate search firm Fast Search & Transfer announced Tuesday.

Terms of the Tellme acquisition were not disclosed, while the Facebook investment set the company back $240 million.

Microsoft’s consummate buyout artist has been a player in acquisitions, investments and joint ventures the company has participated in for much of his time at the firm.

Prior to serving in his role as vice president of corporate development, Jaffe was chief financial officer for MSN. Jaffe joined Microsoft in 1995.

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