Microsoft has announced that its President of Windows and Windows Live, Steven Sinofsky, has left the company. His position is being split into two, with Julie Larson-Green being promoted to lead hardware engineering and CFO and CMO Tami Reller adding Windows business to her list of responsibilities.
Since the launch of Windows 7, one of Microsoft’s most successful operating systems ever, Steven has essentially been the face of Windows, in much the same way that Steve Jobs was the face of Apple. It was with the help of his decisions that Windows 7 became so successful, and likewise why Windows 8 had become the most radically-designed Windows yet. He’s also the reason why consumers knew so much about 7 and 8 well before their launch, thanks to his efforts with the Windows Team Blog.
What prompted Steven to flee the company isn’t clear. While it’s easy to assume that Windows 8 had something to do with it, it’s unlikely as he was integral in the development. Not to mention, the launch is still fresh in our minds, so it’s too soon to make decisions like this already. Surface hasn’t exactly been a rip-roaring success, but again, it hasn’t even been three weeks since the launch.
While the press release states that the departure was mutual, AllThingsD reports that there was growing tension between Steven and the rest of the executive team. Steven’s been rumored to have a very my-way-or-the-highway handling of things, something the other executives likely wouldn’t take too kindly to.
Whatever the reason, this is quite the turn of events to occur so soon after the Windows 8 launch.