Muglia lands at Juniper

Former Microsoft server division head to be EVP of software products unit

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At least Robert Muglia didn't have to collect unemployment for long.

The former head of Microsoft's Server and Tools Division, forced out of his job by Redmond CEO Steve Ballmer earlier this year, is taking over as head of software products for Juniper Networks.

(Also see: Ballmer turns to geeks to save his own butt)

Juniper made the announcement Monday. From the press release:

Robert Muglia will be joining the company as executive vice president of the Software Solutions Division. In this newly created role, Muglia will oversee the company's end-to-end software strategy and lead the newly formed Software Solutions Division. He joins the company from Microsoft and will report directly to Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson.

"We are excited to have a leader of Bob's caliber coming on board to lead Juniper's software initiatives, and I'm confident that his vision, management savvy and technical expertise will bring tremendous value to our organization," Johnson said in a statement.

Muglia was canned by Ballmer in January, though he was allowed to stay around for a few months to help with the transition.

A 23-year veteran of the Redmond wars, Muglia was widely respected at Microsoft, where, at one time or another, he held leadership positions in most of Microsoft's business groups. As fellow ITworld blogger Kevin Fogarty wrote in January about his dismissal:

The slight isn't fair to Muglia, who has taken on many of the toughest slogs at Microsoft, often turning them into highly successful, if not absolutely dominant, businesses. He started out running the SQL Server business, and went on to run the developer program, mobile devices, Windows NT and online services.

He was put in charge of the server division two years ago in what observers called a remarkable comeback, after being demoted to run the management software group in the wake of the failure of the "Hailstorm" or "My Services" online services offering.

Johnson himself is a former Microsoft employee, serving as head of the Windows and online division until 2008. Another Redmond refugee, former Windows marketing leader Brad Brooks, left to work for Juniper earlier this year.

Shares of Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR), a provider of network product and services, were up 1.18, or 3.85 percent, to 31.85 in Tuesday early-afternoon trading. The company is scheduled to announce second-quarter results after the market closes.

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