Yesterday we learned that Steven Sinofsky was leaving Microsoft. According to Sinofsky, his reasons were personal and private and didn’t reflect on the company. He left without being angry and for entirely personal reasons, or so he suggests.
That being said, his resignation is effective immediately— this gets people talking. A new rumor now suggests that Sinofsky was awaiting a promise from Ballmer that would secure Sinofsky as the CEO successor when Ballmer retires in 2017 or 2018.
The rumor comes for Business Insider and is said to be directly from a source at Microsoft. Steven Sinofsky had hoped that the beginning success of Windows 8 would be enough to secure his spot as the next CEO. He asked Ballmer to be named and said he would quit if he didn’t get a promise stating he would get the spot.
Sinofsky has been with Microsoft for a long time and has helped make Microsoft Office popular. He has also done quite a bit for modern Windows efforts as well. If anyone at the company was qualified to fill Steve Ballmer’s shoes at retirement— it would probably be Sinofsky. Still, this could be nothing more than a rumor.
Steven Sinofsky’s farewell message warned us these kinds of rumors would begin:
“one might notice a bit of chatter speculating about this decision or timing. I can assure you that none could be true as this was a personal and private choice that in no way reflects any speculation or theories one might read—about me, opportunity, the company or its leadership.”
His advice was to ignore these suggestions as false.
What do you think, could this be the real reason that he left the company or not?