Sinofsky to become Windows division president

The former Office executive has been leading engineering efforts in the post-Vista era and will now assume business responsibility as well.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried
3 min read

Steven Sinofsky is set to gain further control over Microsoft's Windows business, Microsoft confirmed on Wednesday.

Sinofsky will become division president, assuming both business and technical responsibility for Microsoft's flagship operating system, according to Microsoft.

Sinofsky Microsoft

He had been jointly running the Windows business with Senior Vice President Bill Veghte, with Sinofsky leading the engineering team and Veghte running the business side. Veghte is slated to move to a new, unspecified role within Microsoft.

"Steven Sinofsky has demonstrated the ability to lead large teams that deliver great products," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement. "The work he and the team have done in getting ready to ship Windows 7 really defines how to develop and ship world-class software. He is a perfect fit to lead the Windows group."

In addition, Microsoft said that Windows division CFO Tami Reller will take on marketing duties.

Microsoft noted in its press release that the transition of marketing duties from Veghte to Reller will take place after Windows 7 is finalized "in late July"--thereby throwing cold water on rumors that Microsoft would declare the code final in time for next week's Worldwide Partner Conference. Windows 7 is set to go on sale on new PCs and to hit retail shelves on Oct. 22..

The executive shuffle was noted earlier on Wednesday by Seattle-area tech news site TechFlash.

Veghte and Sinofsky had both reported to division president Kevin Johnson, but Johnson left almost a year ago to become CEO of Juniper Networks.

The announcement also comes within 24 hours of Google confirming that it plans to launch its own Chrome operating system, although the executive move had been in the works for some time.

Update, 1:07 p.m. PDT: Here's the memo from Ballmer to Microsoft's staff regarding the executive shifts.

From: Steve Ballmer
Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2009 11:55 AM
To: Microsoft - All Employees (QBDG)
Subject: Windows Management Changes

Windows is one of the franchise brands and products for Microsoft. Each new version of Windows is a visible and significant milestone for the company. We will soon finish Windows 7 and hand it off to our partners for general availability on October 22nd.

With this transition, we want to ensure we are setting up for the next release and continue the market leadership and momentum that we have with Windows today. Accordingly, I am pleased to announce today that Steven Sinofsky will be promoted to President of the Windows Division. Windows 7 is receiving terrific feedback from customers, partners, analysts alike, and the entire Windows team has done a great job.

With this promotion, Steven assumes responsibility for the Windows business including both the engineering and marketing functions for Windows, Windows Live and Internet Explorer. Jon DeVaan will continue in his role as senior vice president, reporting to Steven. In this role, Jon will continue to manage the engineering team responsible for creating the core components of both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and is responsible for the PC ecosystem engagement and technical readiness.

We are also pleased to announce today that Tami Reller, currently CFO for the Windows Division, will take on the additional responsibility of marketing for the Windows Division. Tami brings a strong background in delivering successful brands to market, most recently with the introduction of Dynamics in her previous role as marketing vice president for MBS.

Tami takes over the marketing responsibility from Bill Veghte who will take a new leadership role in the company to be announced later this year. Bill and Tami will work closely together through this month to ensure we deliver on the momentum currently building for the launch of Windows 7.

Under Bill's leadership, the team has re-energized our approach to marketing and selling Windows and the PC, built stronger relationships with our partners and has laid the right plans for delivering Windows 7 into the market. In particular, the "I'm a PC" campaign has really helped energize the brand and create emotional connections between our product and our customers. Bill has a long track record of success at Microsoft in a variety of capacities and we look forward to his continued contributions.

As we start the new fiscal year, we do so with a full slate of great products, healthy businesses and strong leadership. We would like to recognize Steven, Bill and Jon for their leadership of Windows and congratulate Tami on her new expanded role.