Steven Sinofsky, the man who was behind the development and marketing of Windows (including the recently released Windows 8), Internet Explorer, Outlook.com, and SkyDrive had apparently left the company. In his place, Julie Larson-Green will run the Windows division while Tami Reller will take charge of the business of Windows.
“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,” Sinofksy stated in a statement. You can read Sinofsky’s entire farewell email here. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also had something to say regarding Sinofsky’s departure. “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,” Ballmer stated in a statement.
Effective immediately, Julie Larson-Green (pictured below) will be promoted and take over Sinofsky’s place as Windows lead, at least in the engineering aspect. Tami Reller will remain as chief financial officer and chief marketing officer and will assume responsibility for the business aspect of Windows. Both executives will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
For those that don’t know, Sinofsky was the man behind the recently released Windows 8 operating system. We still don’t know the full story as to why Sinofsky abruptly left the company but once we find out more, we will keep you posted. Apparently, there has been tension between Sinofsky and other executives and this decision to leave the company was mutual, according to a report by AllThingsD. For now, all hail the new Windows boss, Julie Larson-Green:
Here is the full statement Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer send out to employees via email:
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.