Today Microsoft has announced that Steven Sinofsky, President of its Windows and Windows Live operations, is leaving the company.
Sinofsky’s abrupt departure comes just 10 days after the Redmond, Wash., software company launched Windows 8, a major overhaul of its ubiquitous computer operating system.
Sources have said the move came amid growing tension between Sinofsky and other top executives. Sinofsky, though seen as highly talented, was viewed at the top levels as not the kind of team player that the company was looking for. The move is likened by some to the recent ouster at Apple of iOS head Scott Forstall.
Officially, Microsoft is saying that the move was a mutual decision by Sinofsky and the company.
Microsoft Corp. said Monday it has divided Windows responsibilities between two top Sinofsky deputies. It promoted company veteran Julie Larson-Green to lead all its Windows software and hardware engineering. Tami Reller while Tami Reller, who headed marketing and served as the unit’s CFO, will have responsibility for the business side of things, while retaining her posts as CFO and chief marketing officer.
The company didn’t say why Sinofsky is leaving. However, CEO Steven Ballmer made the statement;
“I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company,” CEO Steve Ballmer said. “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.”
This is a major loss for Microsoft at a crucial time for the company, but mercifully, following the delivery of Windows 8. How well his two ex-lieutenants will do is to be seen.