Apple, Microsoft Executive Shakeups Show They Don't Want Another Steve Jobs
November 16, 2012 3:17 PM
comment(s) - last by
Ballmer didn't want empire builders, he wanted tight integration, collaboration
Steven Sinofksy is viewed by many analysts as a Jobsian sort of figure. Recently
driven out of Microsoft
) for allegedly not being a "team player", he nonetheless
fast-selling operating system in Microsoft's history
-- Windows 7 -- as well as perhaps its
most ambitious reimagination
. And he slashed layers of bureaucracy, in many cases cutting the number of employees between the lowest layer engineer up the ladder to the highest manager to around 4 or 5, versus around 7 before.
I. Lack of Team Play Let to Steve Sinofsky's Ouster
But Mr. Sinofsky's strict expectations and dictatorial approach to slashing bloat at the software giant rubbed many colleagues the wrong way. And much like another Steve Jobs-like figure -- Apple, Inc.'s (
-- he was eventually driven out. Both men were once considered
candidates to become CEO
at their respective firms.
But it appears that increasingly companies are placing "being a team player" over pure success.
While Mr. Sinofsky did strip away bureaucracy, it sounds like he may have had trouble working with other units in the multi-piece Microsoft empire. A source
, "What I'm hearing over and over is collaboration and horizontal integration is the new mantra. They (top management) understand that, if they don't move to a model where devices and software are more integrated across the entire Microsoft system, they are in a weak position."
Steven Sinofsky wasn't allegedly interested in working with other Microsoft units, instead trying to consolidate power to his own Windows unit. [Image Source: Extremetech]
Indeed many of the dramatic moves Mr. Sinofsky made with Windows 8, while potentially highly beneficial from a consumer perspective gave enterprise users -- and likely Microsoft's own Server and Tools Business division -- fits.
Brad Silverberg, a former Windows division chief, says that he expects big overhauls at the company in coming months as Mr. Sinofsky's allies jump ship and
Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer
moves to more tightly integrate the units. He comments, "I certainly expect the org chart to look a lot different six months from now. There will be attrition from Steven's (Sinofsky's) people and Steve Ballmer will have a chance to create a more harmonious organization."
II. Apple and Microsoft Both Kick Out Once Bright Stars
Many analysts and managers within the company viewed Mr. Sinofsky's actions during his 23-year run with the company as empire building. Comments Mr. Silverberg, "Steven is a brilliant guy who made tremendous contributions to Microsoft. But he was also a polarizing guy and the antibodies ultimately caught up with him."
An unnamed Windows unit manager recalls, "Sinofsky really centralized all the power under himself. We'll see how it shakes out from here."
And another ex-Microsoft employee who now works in the financial sector comments, "If you work in Steven's team, you love him. If he's outside of your team? That's where his reputation of being hard to work with came from."
The situation is remarkably similar to the Scott Forstall scenario at Apple. Mr. Forstall was notorious for looking to outshine and openly compete with other units at Apple. He famously would admonish his co-SVPs commenting, "
Steve wouldn't do that.
Scott Forstall, suffered a remarkably similar fate to Mr. Sinofsky [Source: Fast Company]
But in the end the pair of top hardware-software firms decided to
To be fair the much-discussed team player aspect was only part of the picture; Windows 8 while doing modestly in pre-sales was heavily criticized by some and was not expected to match Windows 7 in sales. Meanwhile, at Apple Scott Forstall had carried out the launch of iOS 6, which ran amok with errors -- most notably a
laughably bad Maps app
. Reportedly Apple had given Mr. Forstall the opportunity to swallow his pride and sign an apology letter to customers.
Mr. Forstall refused, and was shown the door. Instead CEO Tim Cook took up the mantle of
saying he was sorry for the mess
to Apple's loyal fans.
In both cases the message seemed clear -- neither company wanted a stubborn, egotistic empire builder -- even if they happened to be brilliant and effective. In other words, neither company was interested in elevating the
next potential Steve Jobs
While many will feel that Apple and Microsoft made the right decision, both companies will likely be heavily scrutinized; particularly if savvy, agile rivals such as Google Inc. (
) or Oracle Corp. (
) scoop up the castoffs.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: successful personality
11/19/2012 7:33:39 AM
Sinofsky apparently irritated too many other peers. People forget that Apple is a really simple company structurally. Microsoft, by comparison, is a spider's web of departments and reporting lines with many of them openly competing against each other in a rigid environment that helps muffle innovation. Having on department head at loggerheads with others is just bad. Having a CEO at loggerheads with everyone else can be good (if they help impost a good direction on everyone below them!).
P.S. Is it just me or has Dailytech been publishing far less articles recently? Is the Tech world having a slow month or something?
RE: successful personality
11/19/2012 9:43:14 AM
It's pretty clear that Dailytech has been "devolving" over the past few years from a respected tech news site to somewhat of a blog/newsstand rag magazine. There is still good tech news here, but more and more personality crap. It reminds me of CNN.
RE: successful personality
11/19/2012 10:01:12 AM
Quality aside, the article count seems way down on even a few weeks ago. I can skim a whole day's news now in a couple of minutes before going to find a more...comprehensive tech site.
"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's Windows Chief, Leaves Abruptly
November 12, 2012, 10:11 PM
Report: Apple Employees Celebrating Scott Forstall's Departure
October 30, 2012, 3:06 PM
Steve Ballmer Narrates New Windows Phone 8 Commercial
October 30, 2012, 1:30 PM
Apple Execs Scott Forstall, John Browett Parting Ways with the Company
October 29, 2012, 6:36 PM
Official: Windows 8 Launches Oct 26 at Midnight
October 25, 2012, 5:47 PM
With XP End of Life, Microsoft Asks Holdouts: How Badly Do You Want XP?
April 8, 2014, 8:00 PM
Windows 8.1 Update 1 is Now Available
April 8, 2014, 1:45 PM
NVIDIA Shield Gets April 2014 Update
April 7, 2014, 6:58 PM
Meet Microsoft's Metrofied Desktop Mode Start Menu
April 3, 2014, 7:23 PM
Microsoft Demos Cortana Digital Assistant at Build 2014
April 2, 2014, 1:35 PM
Report: Windows XP Still Running on Over 25 Percent of PCs
April 1, 2014, 2:08 PM
Most Popular Articles
Cities to Carpoolers: Sharing Your Car is Illegal, We Will Seize Your Cars
April 4, 2014, 9:17 PM
Taiwan's AOU Claims to Have World's Highest-Res. OLED Smartphone Display
April 11, 2014, 1:44 PM
iPad Exploiter is Freed by Federal Appeals Court
April 11, 2014, 7:40 PM
It's Very Likely Neanderthals and Humans Had Sex, Produced Offspring
April 10, 2014, 8:40 PM
Cops at Historically Troubled LAPD are Sabotaging Digital Recording Devices
April 9, 2014, 11:10 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information