Microsoft Corp. on Monday 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.
“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,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft.
According to a report by Bloomberg news-agency, Mr. Ballmer was not exactly satisfied with Mr. Sinofsky and is putting in place a new team to start planning the next upgrade for Microsoft’s products. Steven Sinofsky worked at Microsoft for 23 years and left the company less than a month after the debut of Windows 8. Once considered a possible successor to Mr. Ballmer, Mr. Sinofsky more recently had failed to stem the loss of PC customers to rivals, including iPad maker Apple.
“It is a little surprising to see a departure of someone at this level in charge of so many products with such immediacy, with no transition period. Microsoft is going to enter another period of management transition,” said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Gartner.
Since 1993, Ms. 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,” said Mr. Ballmer.
Tami 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, California. 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.