Neelam Dhawan, Managing Director of Microsoft India, will leave the company as of 30 June. Some media sources cite the Indian ooxml debacle as a reason. She will be succeeded by an external person. Neelam Dhawan joined Microsoft India from HP and would move back to that company.
On Friday, before the company issued a statement about her departure, Microsoft India managing director Neelam Dhawan said she isn’t going and that any investigation is news to her.
The Indian audio interview shows that Neelam Dhawan is puzzled about her bail out. The interview indicates that she did not leave voluntarily and she denied rumours of a fraud investigation by Microsoft.
A few days ago a member of the Standard board Deepak B. Phatak, complained bitterly with a long rant about intimidation by Microsoft India1.
In conclusion, I will reiterate that my anguish, caused by Microsoft by slandering Individuals and organizations represented on committee LITD 15 of BIS, runs very very deep. I have requested Microsoft to immediately withdraw all such frivolous complaints and representations maligning colleagues on the committee. I have also requested Microsoft to formally apologize to my Institute for causing damage to its reputation.
In relation to the failure of Microsoft India to get a positive vote outcome Neelam Dhawan's bail out casts a negative light on the company. If standard setting gets performance based and a standard is not let through due to its technical merits but the fear of managing staff to lose its position it comes at no surprise that the management will fight with all means for the adoption of suboptimal solutions. Microsoft India even filed a complaint against the standard body No vote that caused the outrage.
One year ago the situation was totally different. Open XML evangelist Doug Mahugh wrote about an Open XML workshop:
The venue was FICCI, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce, and the inaugural address included Vivek Bharati, IT Advisor to FICCI, as well as Neelam Dhawan, Microsoft Managing Director, and Vinnie Mehta, the Executive Director of MAIT. They framed the discussion as an opportunity for various points of view to be heard in a dialog including technical experts from all sides of the issue, and also as an opportunity for India to consider how document standards relate to local priorities and concerns. It was all of that and more. We had some great discussion and debate with the attendees, including representatives from IBM and Sun, and we also had some side meetings with various people