Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's Windows Chief, Leaves Abruptly
November 12, 2012 10:11 PM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: ABC News)
Sinofksy wasn't seen as a team player according to reports
There seems to be something afoul in the tech industry in recent weeks, and the stench seems to be coming from the executive ranks of two of the computing industry's top players: Apple and Microsoft.
Earlier this month, we learned that Scott Forstall, Apple's Vice President of iOS Software,
was shown the door after 15 years of service
. According to reports, Forstall was the most "
" of Apple's executive team and was
notorious for being hard to deal with
. It was also reported that Forstall often butted heads with Apple design guru Jony Ive.
Now it appears that Microsoft has its own executive shakeup in the works. Steve Sinofsky, President of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live division, left the company today. The move comes somewhat as a shock considering that
Windows 8 just launched last month
“It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft. I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company,” said Sinofsky of his departure in an
email to Microsoft employees
I. First Forstall, Now Sinofsky
While the timing of Sinofsky's departure is a bit startling, the writing has been on the wall for some time with regards to his chemistry with other Microsoft employees. Sinofsky's inability to be a team player is cited as a major reason for his departure, and is reminiscent of Forstall's dismissal.
Sinofsky (left) shows off Microsoft Surface [Image Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]
reported this afternoon that there was growing tension between Sinofsky and other top Microsoft executives. This news comes weeks after
ran a piece
detailing Sinofsky's rise to power at Microsoft, and his rather combative style of leadership.
Jay Greene had this to say about how former and current Microsoft execs viewed Sinofsky:
Most requested anonymity because they feared potential repercussions. They paint a picture of an executive who is incredibly smart and passionately driven to ship quality software on time. But some also say Sinofsky can create a toxic work environment that has chased talented employees away from a maturing company that's in desperate need of innovative thinking.
Sinofsky's leadership style and compartmentalization of tasks and "reporting lines" within the Windows division lead his approach to be labeled as "Soviet Central-Planning." In fact, the toxicity within Microsoft was humorously detailed in an organizational chart
comic by Manu Cornet
[Image Source: Manu Cornet]
II. Steve Ballmer heaps praise on Sinofsky, points to new leadership
Microsoft CEO Ballmer sent a memo to his staff regarding the departure, and praised Sinofsky's 20+ years of service:
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.
Sinofsky will be replaced by
. Larson-Green has been with Microsoft since 1993 and has had a hand in program management, and UI design/research for Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Julie Larson-Green [Image Source: Microsoft]
“Leading Windows engineering is an incredible challenge and opportunity, and as I looked at the technical and business skills required to continue our Windows trajectory — great communication skills, a proven ability to work across product groups, strong design, deep technical expertise, and a history of anticipating and meeting customer needs — it was clear to me that Julie is the best possible person for this job, and I’m excited to have her in this role,” said Ballmer of Larson-Green.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
11/13/2012 12:25:39 PM
I'll preface this by saying what I've BEEN saying... Microsoft is not doing a very good job educating users. People shouldn't be asking how to close Metro windows or how to shut down their computers. These aren't difficult tasks, in fact their both incredibly easy, but there aren't simple instructions that walk you through these new things... and there should be.
There is a learning curve to Windows 8. It doesn't behave exactly the same way previous versions of Windows did. Things are a bit different. If you can't handle the change, stick with Windows 7. You sound just like the people who whined and moaned endlessly about the ribbon in Office 2007. For new users or users who didn't mind learning new things it was an improvement but for people with concrete at their feet they stuck with Office 2004.
Windows 8 has numerous workflow, performance, and usability improvements over Windows 7. It's a huge upgrade. Once you understand the mouse gestures and the keyboard commands it's far more efficient to use than Windows 7. The desktop improvements are actually substantial but listening to the whining on THIS SITE you would think the desktop is gone and Metro is all you have to work with.
If you aren't interested in learning mouse gestures and keyboard commands to accomplish tasks quickly, stick with Windows 7 for the next decade.
11/14/2012 1:56:57 AM
I will stick with Windows 7.
You stick with "fancy" crap app screen.
Everything else about 8 I really do like.
I can make Win98, Me, NT, XP, Vista & 7 look like Win95.
Why can't they give me a similar option with 8?
Why do you people freak out like I'm asking them to shave my privates?
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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