Did Bill Gates Back the Idea of Sinofsky Leaving Microsoft?

Steven Sinofsky is gone, and not surprisingly, the rumors for why he is no longer with Microsoft continue to flood in. The latest comes from unnamed sources that claim that Microsoft Chairman Bill gates also supported the decision made by CEO Steve Ballmer for Sinofsky to hit the road.

This is interesting, but what does it mean exactly? Was Sinofsky really fired? By all indications, no. Instead, the sources say that Bill Gates had supported Ballmer’s change in direction over the recent years. This included a new approach that had more executives dipping their hands directly into projects and more collaboration.

In contrast, Sinofsky preferred the old-school secret “Cloak and Dagger” style of managing and controlling a project. He didn’t want to collaborate with other executives and instead wanted full control of all aspects of the projects he was working on. This lead to quite a bit of in-house fighting and other issues.

With the changes at Microsoft, Sinofsky might have just decided that it wasn’t a place he wanted to work at anymore. The departure could also have been fueled by another reason as well. Earlier it was suggested Sinofsky left because he had hoped to be named the future CEO of Microsoft after Ballmer retired. It’s possible that Steve Ballmer was leery about granting that wish – considering how different Sinofsky did things- and that Bill Gates agreed with Ballmer.

With both the CEO and Chairman standing against the idea of Sinofsky as a future CEO of Microsoft, Steven might have felt it was just better to hit the road. It’s really hard to say, and I doubt anyone official will come on the record and clear this matter up either.

The bottom-line is that Microsoft is moving towards a future where employees can work together more peacefully, side by side. Sinofsky instead seems more like a “Steve Jobs” type in that he liked to take control of every detail and could be hard to work with. Sure, the Jobs approach brought Apple to major fame and fortunate, but what works for one company isn’t necessarily right for another.

It will be interesting to watch how Microsoft develops in the next several years. By the time Windows 9 arrives we should have a good idea of whether or not ousting Steven Sinofsky was the right move or not. What do you think, is Microsoft better without him or should they have worked harder to keep Sinofsky on the team?

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  • jason.wiltz

    This is a shocker. Steven Sinofsky, the prickly but super-efficient executive famous for delivering big products on time for a company not known for meeting production schedules, is leaving Microsoft.

  • AnnieGirl

    It may be backed by Bill,, as if he wants to retain him, he could. .

  • Robert Kegel

    If he’s as big a control freak as I’m hearing its probably best he’s gone. I think a good company listens to its employees and a good boss knows how to pick good suggestions from bad. I also employees should work side by side, especially if they’re trying to make a unified ecosystem. If the Windows devs work on their own thing and the Windows Phone devs work on their own how are they suppose to unify both phone and pc/tablet OS’? Not to leave out the Xbox. Good communication between Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox divisions seems like a given even more so now.

    The only good thing about Sinofsky is that he kept with time tables and got things out on time. I hope the new head can do the same thing while bringing everyone together.

    • Dan Dar3

      That’s easier said than done when you have thousands of people in so many teams. If you look at how Windows 8, Xbox and Windows Phone 8 are well integrated together (all tiles, smart glass, xbox games, xbox music apps etc), all while the “control freak” was there, it makes you wonder what you’re going to get without him. Someone has to have a unified vision, a loose connection where everyone works with everyone is a recipe for disaster, you get lots of things that don’t work well together and miss release cycles. You might see that soon.

  • Fredric

    I don’t know why some people are so conscious about the internal matters of a company. For a stock trader this might be an area of interest (if this really effects the shares) but for a general user like me, its their internal matter and I am not supposed to worry about it.