Just weeks after Microsoft released Windows 8 and the new Microsoft Surface, along with Windows Server 2012, and a matter of days after Windows Phone 8 officially hit the market, Microsoft has announced that Steven Sinofsky, President of Windows and Windows Live, will be leaving the company effective immediately. In replacement, Tami Reller, Chief Financial and Marketing Officer, will assume business responsibility for the Windows brands.
Veteran Microsoft executive Julie Larson-Green will be assuming responsibility of the brands. She has worked on seemingly every major Microsoft property, including Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office. Most recently, the user experience development and research, as well as program management for Windows 7 and Windows 8 also fell to Larson-Green, so transferring the brands to her is fitting as she has run the product anyway. All of the best parts of Windows 8, such as the new user interface and live tiles, are the result of her research and development, while all of the bad decisions, such as Windows RT vs Windows 8, were that of Sinofsky.
This seems like a good transition for the company, and certainly goes to show that Ballmer is not afraid to cut where he sees problems. Hit the break to see what Ballmer and Sinofsky had to say about the transition.
Sinofsky, although most likely disappointed about the departure, had very nice things to say about the company,
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.
Ballmer also had good things to say about both Sinofsky and Larson-Green,
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.
Leading Windows engineering is an incredible challenge and opportunity, and as I looked at the technical and business skills required to continue our Windows trajectory - great communication skills, a proven ability to work across product groups, strong design, deep technical expertise, and a history of anticipating and meeting customer needs - 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.
With this change of guard I look forward to seeing what Larson-Green will be able to accomplish in her new role, as well as what Sinofsky will do in his future. With the seeming resurrection of webOS, maybe he will end up over at HP.