According to Tom Foremski at SiliconValleyWatcher and Andy Plesser at Beet.tv, the guy who is arguably Microsoft’s most famous person — at least as far as the blogosphere is concerned — is leaving the company. Robert Scoble, also known as the Scobleizer, is reportedly heading to podtech.net to be its corporate evangelist. Tom says that Scoble wasn’t happy working at Mister Softee, in part because they weren’t interested in paying for all his travels to conferences.
I’m with Vinnie Mirchandani on this one — I think it would have been smart to try and hang onto the Scobleizer, and maybe even cough up the one-thousandth of one per cent of daily cash flow that his travel budget might have represented. Flack or not, corporate shill or not, I think he has single-handedly done more to humanize Microsoft than all the millions of dollars spent getting Bill Gates to kiss babies or hug orphans or whatever they do to make MSFT seem less like the Borg.
Scoble has posted a confirmation of his move, and goes on to counter the rumours about concerns over his travel budget and lack of support from Microsoft — totally not true, he says. He also says they “moved heaven and earth” to keep him happy, but he decided to make the move anyway. “It’s a rapidly-evolving part of my life,” he says. “I just made this decision and it got out before I was completely ready to talk about it.” Best of luck to him.