Rick Belluzzo - who yesterday resigned as chairman and chief executive officer of Silicon Graphics Inc (SGI) - is joining Microsoft as head of Internet operations, a Wall Street Journal story states.

The newspaper claims Belluzzo is set become Microsoft’s next vice president of interactive operations, a position that has been vacant since November last year.

The article says that one of his responsibilities will be managing the Microsoft Network Web portal business.

His departure from SGI came as a surprise, after the hardware and graphics firm recently announced major business restructuring - designed to turn around its financial fortunes.

Belluzzo's replacement is Robert Bishop, a member of the vendor's board of directors and a former company director of global sales. Belluzzo joined SGI from Hewlett-Packard in January 1998, replacing Ed McCracken.

Microsoft reorganized in March, putting Jon DeVaan and Brad Chase in joint charge of its Internet businesses, which the company rechristened as its consumer and commerce group.

Prior to that, the unit was known as the Interactive Media Group and had been run by Microsoft President Steve Ballmer, following the resignation of group vice president Pete Higgins in November last year.

As vice presidents of Microsoft's consumer and commerce group, Chase and DeVaan are responsible for MSN, WebTV, commerce platforms and services, consumer devices and vertical commerce platforms, according to information on Microsoft's Web site.