From The Verge
Here is a letter Steve Ballmer wrote to Microsoft staff about Sinofsky's departure:Windows head Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft
Steven Sinofsky, the Microsoft executive in charge of Windows, has left the company. Julie Larson-Green is to assume control of Windows software and hardware engineering, and CFO Tami Reller will be in charge of the Windows business. The changes are effective immediately, and no reason was given for Sinofsky's departure. He had the following to say in 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."
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, meanwhile, said "I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company." Sinofsky had a reputation as a brilliant yet controversial leader who could be difficult to work with, despite a strong record of shipping products on time. After working with Microsoft Office, he took control of Windows 7 following the troubled Vista launch and continued this role through last month's Windows 8 launch. His official title was President of the Windows Division.
The Verge has seen Steve Ballmer's letter to Microsoft employees on the departure. On Sinofsky, the CEO had the following to say:
"As we enter this new era, and with the successful launch of Windows 8 and Surface behind us, Steven Sinofsky has decided to leave the company. Steven joined Microsoft in 1989 as a software development engineer and has contributed to the company in many ways from his work as a technical advisor to Bill Gates, to leading the evolution of the Microsoft Office business, to his direction and successful leadership of Windows and Windows Live as well as Surface."
Julie Larson-Green has been at Microsoft since 1993 and was responsible for program management, user interface design, and research on Windows 7 and 8. Her new role will encompass "all future Windows product development in addition to future hardware opportunities," and Ballmer described her as "the best possible person for this job." Just two weeks after the Windows 8 launch, however, the real question is why now is the time for Sinofsky to go.
Update: Sources inside Microsoft have given The Verge more details on Sinofsky's departure. We're hearing that the executive shake-up wasn't based on any issues with Windows 8 or the Surface launch, but personality clashes within the ranks.[/url]
Quite shocking to see he's left so soon after the release of Windows 8/RT. I doubt it was anything to do with the reception or sales as I haven't read anything saying the sale/reception of Windows 8 was poor.Over the past few months we have delivered the foundation for a new era for Microsoft. From Office to Bing to Windows Phone and Windows Azure, to Xbox and of course Windows and Surface and everything in between, we’ve unleashed a huge wave of devices and services that people and businesses love. I simply couldn’t be more proud of the effort you have all put in to get us here and to set the foundation for our future. At the Windows launch in New York, at the Windows Phone event in San Francisco, and again at the Build event on Redmond campus, I was struck that while externally many people look at these events as the finish line, they really represent the starting line of a new era.
As we enter this new era, and with the successful launch of Windows 8 and Surface behind us, Steven Sinofsky has decided to leave the company. Steven joined Microsoft in 1989 as a software development engineer and has contributed to the company in many ways from his work as a technical advisor to Bill Gates, to leading the evolution of the Microsoft Office business, to his direction and successful leadership of Windows and Windows Live as well as Surface. I am grateful for the work that Steven has delivered in his time at our company. Effective immediately, Julie Larson-Green will lead Windows engineering. She will be responsible for all product development for Windows and Windows Live, in addition to Surface. Julie has been a stalwart leader of building compelling “experiences” from her time on Internet Explorer, through the evolution of Office and most recently to the re-imagination of Windows. Her unique product and innovation perspective and proven ability to effectively collaborate and drive a cross company agenda will serve us well as she takes on this new leadership role. All of the current Windows engineering teams will report into Julie, and Julie will report to me.
Tami Reller will lead business and marketing strategy for Windows including Surface and partner devices. She will provide broad stewardship to our PC marketing efforts while managing the line business functions for Windows. Her work on Windows since 2007 has been exemplary and her strong talents in working with internal groups and partners will also serve us well. Tami also will report to me.
We are facing a time of great opportunity. What we have accomplished over the past few years is nothing short of amazing, and I know we have more amazing in us. I am excited about our people, I am energized by our ability to change and grow, and I look forward to the success which lies ahead. Thank you for all you do, and please join me in congratulating our new leadership and celebrating all that we have accomplished so far.
Maybe Steve finally sat down with Windows 8 and thought, "Where is the Start Menu?! Sinofsky! YOU'RE FIRED!"