Julie Larson-Green will take over as the new Windows boss. The changes are effective immediately, Microsoft said in a statement.
AllThingsD reports that Sinofsky left due to tension with other Microsoft executives. The decision for him to leave was mutual.
Sinofsky's departure comes shortly after Microsoft launched Windows 8, a radical new touch-based operating system for PCs and tablets. Windows 8 received lukewarm reviews for being too difficult to learn.
Sinofsky was on stage at a press launch for Windows 8 less than three weeks ago, unveiling the final product to the world. He was the head of the team that created Windows 8. He was also in charge of the Surface team, which made Microsoft's first tablet.
This is shocking news. Sinofsky was considered by many to be Microsoft's next CEO after Steve Ballmer. Since Windows 8 has only been available for a few weeks, we see two likely scenarios at this point: Either Windows 8 is already considered a massive failure within Microsoft or the "tension" between Sinofsky and other executives was pretty ugly.
We've pasted the full press release from Microsoft below:
REDMOND, Wash. — Nov . 12 , 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky will be leaving the company and that Julie Larson-Green will be promoted to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering. Tami Reller retains her roles as chief financial officer and chief marketing officer and will assume responsibility for the business of Windows. Both executives will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
These changes are effective immediately.
“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. 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.”
“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,” Sinofsky said.
Since 1993, Larson-Green has worked on and led some of the most successful products for Microsoft, including the user experiences for early versions of Internet Explorer, and helped drive the thinking behind the refresh of the user experience for Microsoft Office. For Windows 7 and Windows 8 she was responsible for program management, user interface design and research, as well as development of all international releases. She has a master's degree in software engineering from Seattle University and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Western Washington University. In her new role she will be responsible for all future Windows product development in addition to future hardware opportunities.
“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,” Ballmer said.
Reller joined Windows in 2007 from the Microsoft Dynamics Division where she held a number of leadership positions. She began her career in technology at Great Plains Software in 1984 while still in college, and was the company’s chief financial officer at the time the company was acquired by Microsoft in 2001. She has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Minnesota State University Moorhead and an MBA from St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif. In her expanded role she will assume the lead in driving business and marketing strategy for Windows devices, including Surface and partner devices, in addition to her current marketing and finance responsibilities.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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