By now you will have probably heard that Steven Sinofsky has decided to leave Microsoft after being with the company since 1989. Without knowing much about what happens within the teams at Microsoft I must admit I was very surprised at hearing this news especially with all the recent product launches at the company that were lead by Sinofsky. However tech blogger Mary Jo Foley seems to be one of those not surprised by the news and in fact seems pleased with Sinofsky’s departure.
Update: "Some might notice a bit of chatter speculating about this decision or timing.I can assure you that none could be true as this was a personal and private choice that in no way reflects any speculation or theories one might read—about me, opportunity, the company or its leadership."via *Paul Thurrot’s WinSuperSite and the opposite viewfrom cnet.com’s Jay Greene.*
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what Microsoft should do to change the company perception in the market including Breaking up Microsoft and also changes at the top suggesting that perhaps Steve Ballmer should leave the CEO post. With that I think Microsoft making changes to it’s leadership team is a positive thing. It’s obvious that Julie Larson-Green is worthy of a promotion for all her work on Windows 7 and Windows 8 but should that have been done through Sinofsky exiting the company? I disagree.
Despite the comment that the decision was mutual if you read between the lines you would know that it wasn’t simply that! I think if Steven Sinofsky was making a transition or planning to leave the company he would’ve slowly phased himself out by perhaps transitioning to a separate role first and then moving on in a way similar to Bill Gates or Ray Ozzie perhaps. Him leaving immediately is really sad given he was the face of all the recent Windows 8 and related releases and also he wasa regular blogger on the https://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/. I understand that internally it may not have been easy dealing with Steven Sinofsky on regular basis but the fact is the changes that Microsoft needed to do to shape itself for the future were done in his presence and under his leadership. Who knows if they would have ever been done if someone else had lead these efforts in a different approach? For that reason I think that regardless of all the internal politics at the company it would have made much more sense for Sinofsky to make a smooth transition out and not like this.
I really hope that this sudden departure of Sinofsky will not have a negative impact on Microsoft’s image and recently launched products. In the long run it probably wont but this news will surely disrupt all the good news on the recent product releases with some sour taste. Change is good, but not when done like this!
To Steven Sinofsky, thanks for all your contributions on Windows 8, Surface and the other Microsoft products and all the best for whatever’s next. To Julie Larson-Green, congratulations and all the best. To Microsoft, I hope this news does not disrupt all the momentum that’s beenbuilding in recent times.