Windows unit president Steven Sinofsky is leaving the company, effective immediately, AllThingsD has confirmed.
The move comes less than a month after Sinofsky presided over the launch of Windows 8 and Microsoft’s Surface tablet–products seen as key to the future if the PC software pioneer is to retain its position amid a market increasingly dominated by phones and tablets.
Sources have said the move came amid growing tension between Sinofsky and other top executives. Sinofsky, though seen as highly talented, was viewed at the top levels as not the kind of team player that the company was looking for.
Sinofsky has been widely reputed to have an abrasive personality for years, so one really has to wonder at the proximate cause of his departure. Still, team player or not, Sinofsky has to get credit for the Microsoft recovery from the Vista debacle with Windows 7.
The official press release is even more opaque as expected, but here’s the new leadership:
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.
Kevin Johnson left Microsoft a year ago and his old Platforms & Services Division fragmented with three senior vice presidents Steven Sinofsky, Jon DeVaan and Bill Veghte reporting directly to Steve Ballmer for Windows/Windows Live. Today, Microsoft announced that the musical chairs had ended and Steven Sinofsky is now President of Microsoft’s Windows Division:
Microsoft Corp. today promoted Steven Sinofsky to president of the Windows Division. Sinofsky, a 20-year Microsoft veteran, most recently led the Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, contributing to the Oct. 22 availability of Windows 7.
As president, Sinofsky assumes responsibility for the Windows business including both the engineering and marketing functions for Windows, Windows Live and Internet Explorer.
As for the other two Senior VP who had reported to Ballmer:
Tami Reller, currently chief financial officer (CFO) for the Windows Division, will take on the additional responsibility for marketing. Bill Veghte will be moving to a new leadership role in the company to be announced later this year. The transition between Reller and Veghte is timed to take place in late July when Windows 7 reaches the release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone. … She will report to Sinofsky and will retain her responsibilities as CFO.
Jon DeVaan will continue in his role as senior vice president, reporting to Sinofsky. DeVaan managed the engineering team responsible for creating the core components of both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Late last week, Microsoft announced that Kirill Tatarinov has been selected as the new head of the troubled Microsoft Business Solutions group that produces a variety of software for small and medium businesses under the Dynamics brand.
Earlier this month it was revealed that Blake Irving, Microsoft’s Windows Live Development leader, and Christopher Payne, head of development for Windows Live Search, were leaving the company. Today, Benjamin J. Romano reports at the Seattle Times that Microsoft has tapped Satya Nadella to run a new Internet search and ad organization formed out of the pieces and reporting directly to Platforms and Services Division President Kevin Johnson:
Microsoft will try a new combination of leadership and organizational structure to lift its Internet search business out of the cellar.
The company on Wednesday named Satya Nadella … to head research and development for a new group combining both Internet search and the advertising platform through which search generates cash.
Nadella, who will take over by April 19, assumes responsibility for a high-profile, high-pressure part of the business where Microsoft has struggled against entrenched competition.
Last month, more than half of the estimated 3.6 billion U.S. Internet searches were done using Google. Yahoo! was second and Microsoft’s MSN/Windows Live Search was third with a 9.6 percent share, according to data released earlier this week by Nielsen//NetRatings. What’s more, Google expanded its market share by 40 percent in the previous year; Microsoft grew 9 percent.
We mentioned the NetRatings numbers on Tuesday and yesterday comScore reported an even gloomier picture for Microsoft. Nadella is used to gloomy pictures though – his previous assignment was leading the troubled Microsoft Business Solutions.
Update: Ed Oswald at Betanews reports that Tami Reller will be the temporary replacement for Nadella at MBS (aka Dynamics).