Microsoft software honcho Steven Sinofsky is leaving the company according to a New York Times report. Here is the Microsoft press release on the news. According to that report his departure was a mutual decision between Sinofsky and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The news comes just three weeks after the launch of Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8, Windows RT, and its move into hardware with the Surface RT.
Prior to stepping up to run the Windows show after the Windows Vista debacle, Sinofsky helmed the Office team. Alternately seen as effective and alienating, there were rumors that Sinofsky might follow Ballmer as CEO, if and when Ballmer moved on. But that’s a moot point now.
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.
And Ballmer’s official statement is:
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.
Microsoft was largely applauded with the re-imagining that it undertook for Windows 8, even though it took three years to bring Windows 8 to market. It has received less than stellar reviews for Windows RT and the Surface RT Tablet.
Julie Larsen Green will take the reigns for the engineering aspects of Windows. Tami Reller will take over business and marketing strategy for Windows. Both will report to Ballmer.