Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft’s Windows Chief, Set To Leave
Microsoft Corp said the head of its flagship Windows division and the driving force behind Windows 8, Steven Sinofsky, will be leaving the company with immediate effect, days after the software giant launched the Surface tablet.
Just weeks earlier, Microsoft released Windows 8, the company’s biggest overhaul to its flagship software product in years. The departure raises questions about how Microsoft, one of the giants in the technology business, will prepare itself for a new generation of leadership.
In an e-mail sent to all employees Monday evening, Mr. Ballmer said that Mr. Sinofsky’s decision to leave Microsoft comes at the start of a “new era” for the company, with the release of a wave of new products like Windows 8.
“I am grateful for the work that Steven has delivered in his time at our company,” Mr. Ballmer said in the e-mail. Frank Shaw, a Microsoft spokesman, said Mr. Sinofsky was not available for an interview.
[quote]In a statement announcing his departure, Mr. Sinofsky, 47, said, “I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company.”[/quote]
Mr. Sinofsky was viewed as one of the most competent managers within Microsoft, and he earned high marks for helping to improve the quality of its software after the company released Windows Vista, a widely criticized version of the operating system. A former technical assistant to Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder, he was known to be a big admirer of Apple’s attention to detail in its products.
His name was often floated by people speculating about a possible successor to Mr. Ballmer, who has not announced any plans to retire from the company.