We all got quite a shock earlier this week when Windows chief Steven Sinofsky departed Microsoft just a short while after the launch of Windows 8. Reports indicate that Sinofsky was getting into many internal executive battles. Well, he’s taken to the comments section of blog to quash some of the rumours.
Former Microsoft engineer Hal Berenson wrote a blog post praising Sinofsky in which he outed many of the internal rumours he’d heard from his contacts at the company. Notably, Berenson said that Sinofsky had tried to expand his turf from just Windows to other products:
Steven had apparently lost recent battles to bring both Windows Phone and the Developer Division under his control. I suspect that he saw those loses both as a roadblock to where he wanted to take Windows over the next few years, and a clear indication that his political power within Microsoft had peaked. At the very point where he should have been able to ask for, and receive, almost anything as reward for his proven success he got slapped down. And so he chose to leave.
But Sinofsky responded that he had no intention whatsoever of taking over Windows Phone or the Developer Division. In fact, Sinofsky says that that it would have been contrary to his business style:
If we had worked together you would know that historically, very few things moved into teams I managed as (you’ve no doubt seen in internal blogs) and when they did I usually pushed back hard looking for a cross-group way to achieve the goal (in other words, decide open issues rather than force an org change to subsequently decide something). it is far better to collaborate with the org in place and avoid the disruption unless it is on a product cycle boundary and far better to plan and execute together than just organise together.