Steven Sinofsky is leaving Microsoft

Chief of Windows is heading for the door
Adam Smith

November 13, 2012

The chief of Windows at Microsoft, Steven Sinofsky, is leaving the Redmond-based company after in excess of two decades there.

Sinofsky is probably a name you’re familiar with when it comes to big Windows launches and blog statements, as he was (obviously) the guy who issued them.

His job will now be split between two staff members underneath him – Julie Larson-Green will be promoted to lead for all Windows software and hardware, with Tami Reller remaining CFO and CMO, and taking care of the financial and business side of Windows.

Previously, Larson-Green worked on Windows 7 and Windows 8, dealing with UI design and research, program management, and the development of international releases of the operating systems.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer commented: “I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company. The products and services we have delivered to the market in the past few months mark the launch of a new era at Microsoft.”

“We’ve built an incredible foundation with new releases of Microsoft Office, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Microsoft Surface, Windows Server 2012 and Halo 4, and great integration of services such as Bing, Skype and Xbox across all our products. To continue this success it is imperative that we continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings.”

Sinofsky said: “It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft. I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company.”

So what’s going on underneath the public statements, here? Rumour among the press is that Sinofsky wasn’t enough of a team player.

His departure is a big surprise, though, as some saw him as potentially the next CEO at Microsoft after Ballmer.

It’s unlikely to affect the Windows OS as such, though, given that Windows 8 has now been pushed out, and if there was an obvious time for a clean break and switch-around, this would be it.


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