Steven Sinofsky Departs Microsoft After Windows 8 Launch

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Windows president Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft in a surprise departure

Microsoft has announced Windows Live president Steven Sinofsky will be leaving the company, just weeks after the launch of the latest version of its operating system, Windows 8.

CEO Steve Ballmer thanked Sinofsky for his years of service, but the company gave no reason for his departure other than saying a management shakeup was necessary for the company going forward.

“I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company,” Ballmer said. “The products and services we have delivered to the market in the past few months mark the launch of a new era at Microsoft.”

Steven Sinofsky departs 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,” he continued. “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 became the president of the Windows division of Microsoft back in July 2009 and successfully oversaw the release of Windows 7, which many users of Windows 8 still prefer. He was present at the launch of Windows 8 last month and the timing of his departure is surprising.

“It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft,” said Sinofsky. “I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company.”

Management shakeup

As part of the restructuring, Julie Larson-Green will be promoted to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering. Larson-Green, who has been with Microsoft since 1993, was responsible for the program management, UI design, and research and the development of the international releases of Windows 7 and 8.

Tami Reller retains her role as chief financial officer and chief marketing officer but will now assume all responsibility for the business of Windows.

“Leading Windows engineering is an incredible challenge and opportunity,” said Ballmer. “It was clear to me that Julie is the best possible person for this job, and I’m excited to have her in this role.”

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