Following the announcement of iOS software chief Scott Forstall’s departure from Apple last week, this time it’s the turn of Microsoft’s head of Windows, Steven Sinofsky. The precise reason for his sudden exit isn’t clear at the present time, though according to an email sent to Microsoft employees from company CEO Steve Ballmer, it was Sinofsky’s decision to leave.
Sinofsky was one of the computer giant’s top executives, a 23-year veteran of the company who in recent years was responsible for getting the Windows OS back on its feet with Windows 7 and 8 following Vista’s poor reception. He was also a key player in bringing the company’s new Surface tablet to the marketplace.
However, there have long been rumors that he was a difficult character to work with, pushing his ideas over others and being less than diplomatic when dealing with colleagues.
In a statement on Microsoft’s website, Sinofsky said, “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.”
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer said in the same statement that he was “grateful” for Sinofsky’s contribution over the years.
He added: “The products and services we have delivered to the market in the past few months mark the launch of a new era at Microsoft….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.”
Sinofsky has been replaced by Julie Larson-Green, who, since joining the company in 1993, has helped with the development of products such as Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office.
News of Sinofsky’s departure – like Forstall’s from Apple last week – will come as a surprise to many. Where he goes from here remains to be seen, but with his extensive experience and undoubted talent, it’s a safe bet he won’t be out in the wilderness for too long.