Microsoft’s head of Windows, Steven Sinofsky resigned on Monday. Sinofsky was thought by many to be in line to take CEO Steven Ballmer’s place. However, he left Microsoft on Monday only three weeks after the software giant launched Windows 8, its newest flagship product.
His role in Microsoft will be taken over by Julie Larson-Green who will lead the Windows engineering for both hardware and software. The current Chief of marketing and CFO, Tami Reller, will run the business side of Windows. Both women will report to CEO Ballmer.
In a prepared statement, Ballmer said he and everyone else at Microsoft were grateful for the many years Sinofsky gave to the company. Sinofsky started with Microsoft in 1989 as a software engineer and eventually rose in the ranks to become the head of engineering for Windows in 2006. At that time, Microsoft was having a difficult period due to the unpopularity of the software Windows Vista. Sinofsky helped to launch Windows 7 shortly after that.
His departure has been called a mutual decision, but its suddenness took the industry by surprise and many industry observers believe it could have something to do with the Windows 8 launch.
Sinofsky was known to have a heavy hand towards his other engineers in Microsoft and had clashed on occasion with managers in the company. In a letter, Sinofsky told his employees that his departure was due to his own personal choice and he did it to make room for new leaders in the company to take their place.