Windows lead out at Microsoft

Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's head of Windows business, steps down

Tags: Microsoft CorporationWindows 8
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Windows lead out at Microsoft Sinofsky most recently presided over the launch of Windows 8, but is now to step down with immediate effect. (Getty Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  November 13, 2012

Steven Sinofsky, the president of Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Live business, is to leave the company with immediate effect.

No reason was given for the departure of Sinofsky, a 23 year Microsoft veteran who had been seen as a possible future leader of the company.

The news was announced in a statement from Microsoft. Julie Larson-Green will take the lead for all Windows software and hardware engineering, while Tami Reller, Microsoft chief financial officer and chief marketing officer, will assume responsibility for the business of Windows.

Sinofsky had joined the company in 1989, and became part of the Office business in 1994. He was involved in all iterations of Office from Office 95 onwards, and became senior VP in charge of Office in 1999. He then took over the Windows business in 2006. He was most recently in charge of delivering Windows 8.

Sinofsky was seen by some as not working well with other executives, and having caused conflict with other divisions. The departure was reported to be mutual, and in a company memo, Sinofsky denied it was related to any rumours of internal conflict: “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 take the lead for all Windows software and hardware engineering, while Tami Reller, Microsoft chief financial officer and chief marketing officer, will assume responsibility for the business of Windows.

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft said in a company statement: “I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company. 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.”

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