Windows Head Steven Sinofsky to Leave Microsoft
Windows unit president Steven Sinofsky is leaving the company, effective immediately, AllThingsD has confirmed.
The move comes less than a month after Sinofsky presided over the launch of Windows 8 and Microsoft’s Surface tablet–products seen as key to the future if the PC software pioneer is to retain its position amid a market increasingly dominated by phones and tablets.
Wow! Have to say: did not see that coming. For a very long time I was convinced that he will be the next CEO of Microsoft. Many people believed that he has the board’s backings. Part of me can’t help wonder this is a preemptive strike by Steve Ballmer?
It’s also interesting that the article clearly called out that MS wants Sinofsky to leave. When top execs leave the company, unless there’s a public scandal already going on and the departure is to respond to the public outcry, usually they would make it sound like the person chose to leave. “Spending time with his family” or “Pursuing personal interest” are some cliché words used to save the departing party’s face. In this case, the article called out the tension between Sinofsky and the others, and is quite brutal about statements like “not a team player that the company was looking for,” and the company needs “more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings.” (obviously implying that Sinofsky cannot do that.).
From folks I know in Microsoft, this comes as a shock to employees as well. No one saw that coming. This is highly unusual.
While I agree with the assessment to some degree, I do think it’s Microsoft’s loss that they are losing Sinofsky. Team player or not, he did save Windows from the Visa fiasco. I wish he was more agile and more willing to listen, but he was a good leader. I have a lot of respect for him.
This is going to be interesting.