Home All Stories Microsoft share down on Sinofsky's abrupt departure, but speculation thrives

Microsoft share down on Sinofsky's abrupt departure, but speculation thrives


Monday night’s abrupt departure of Steve Sinofsky, president of Windows and Windows Live and a 23-year veteran of Microsoft, has dinged the company’s share price by about 3 percent and instigated petabytes of speculation.

Sinofsky (pictured) is widely credited with guiding Windows out of its Vista depression, and just two weeks ago he led the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, which is seen as crucial to Microsoft’s strategy for uniting mobile, Xbox, tablets and PCs into an enterprise-friendly ecosystem.

As to why he left, there are three main theories: Sinofsky’s management style was abrasive and lacked enough ability to work with other business units; Microsoft would not name him as successor to CEO Steve Ballmer; and Ballmer felt Sinofsky took too long to get results.

Sinofsky’s responsibilities will be divided between two executives, a strategy not uncommon for Microsoft, both of whom report directly to Ballmer. Julie Larson-Green is promoted to head of all Windows hardware and software, and Tami Reller takes charge of the business of Windows in addition to her existing role as chief financial officer and chief marketing officer.

Sinofsky released a statement: “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.”

Ballmer also released a 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.”

Related links:

Reuters – Microsoft shares fall after departure of key executive

Microsoft – press release

The Verge – Sources inside Microsoft say a clash of personalities led to Sinofsky’s departure

Business Insider – SOURCE:  Sinofsky’s Out At Microsoft Because He Wanted Steve Ballmer’s Job

ForexPros – Microsoft (MSFT) Falls As Sinofsky Exits

Barron’s – MSFT: Will Sinofsky’s Departure ‘Pick Up the Slack’?

ComputerWorld – Will Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky take the fall for Windows 8’s shortcomings?

CNet/CBS News – Controversial Windows boss Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft

Seattle Times – Microsoft Windows chief Steven Sinofsky leaves abruptly

ZDNet – How Steven Sinofsky changed Microsoft, for better and for worse

Photo of Steve Sinofsky by Flickr user BUILDWindows, used under Creative Commons license