Microsoft recently released their latest operating system, Windows 8 and their Surface RT tablet. Now, in a rather shocking executive shake-up, Windows head Steven Sinofsky has left Microsoft to dwell in new opportunities.
Steven Sinofsky was the head of Windows Software and recently unveiled Windows 8 at the official launch event. Why the sudden departure then? Well, according to a letter from Steven to Microsoft employees, it was strictly a personal choice. Here’s an excerpt from his letter, which was apparently typed on a Surface RT.
After more than 23 years working on a wide range of Microsoft products, I have decided to leave the company to seek new opportunities that build on these experiences. My passion for building products is as strong as ever and I look forward focusing my energy and creativity along similar lines.
Some 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.
Julie Larson-Green will be taking over Windows Software development immediately. Current CFO Tami Reller will take care of the Windows business. Sinofsky did an exceptional job with delivering Windows products to the market, especially with the Windows 7 and Windows 8 launch. Hence, it is a little weird that he left the company less than 1 month after the launch of Windows 8.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated in the Press Release, that “I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company,”. He too expressed his words in a letter, which can be read below.
Over the past few months we have delivered the foundation for a new era for Microsoft. From Office to Bing to Windows Phone and Windows Azure, to Xbox and of course Windows and Surface and everything in between, we’ve unleashed a huge wave of devices and services that people and businesses love. I simply couldn’t be more proud of the effort you have all put in to get us here and to set the foundation for our future. At the Windows launch in New York, at the Windows Phone event in San Francisco, and again at the Build event on Redmond campus, I was struck that while externally many people look at these events as the finish line, they really represent the starting line of a new era.
As we enter this new era, and with the successful launch of Windows 8 and Surface behind us, Steven Sinofsky has decided to leave the company. Steven joined Microsoft in 1989 as a software development engineer and has contributed to the company in many ways from his work as a technical advisor to Bill Gates, to leading the evolution of the Microsoft Office business, to his direction and successful leadership of Windows and Windows Live as well as Surface. I am grateful for the work that Steven has delivered in his time at our company. Effective immediately, Julie Larson-Green will lead Windows engineering. She will be responsible for all product development for Windows and Windows Live, in addition to Surface. Julie has been a stalwart leader of building compelling “experiences” from her time on Internet Explorer, through the evolution of Office and most recently to the re-imagination of Windows. Her unique product and innovation perspective and proven ability to effectively collaborate and drive a cross company agenda will serve us well as she takes on this new leadership role. All of the current Windows engineering teams will report into Julie, and Julie will report to me.
Tami Reller will lead business and marketing strategy for Windows including Surface and partner devices. She will provide broad stewardship to our PC marketing efforts while managing the line business functions for Windows. Her work on Windows since 2007 has been exemplary and her strong talents in working with internal groups and partners will also serve us well. Tami also will report to me.
We are facing a time of great opportunity. What we have accomplished over the past few years is nothing short of amazing, and I know we have more amazing in us. I am excited about our people, I am energized by our ability to change and grow, and I look forward to the success which lies ahead. Thank you for all you do, and please join me in congratulating our new leadership and celebrating all that we have accomplished so far.
The changes are effective immediately and both Julie Larson-Green and Tami Reller will be reporting directly to CEO Steve Ballmer. It is also being reported that Steven wasn’t liked very much within Microsoft. This is probably for using the Surface RT as a Skateboard. What do you think of this shake up? Read the complete Press Release over here.