Microsoft shakes up Windows leadership (week in review)

Software giant loses longtime Windows boss Steven Sinofsky, while Apple loses a patent foe. Also: Embarrassing e-mail goes to Washington.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
3 min read
Steven Sinofsky

Microsoft experienced an executive shakeup this week that surprised many.

Steven Sinofsky, the Microsoft executive who turned the company's Windows franchise around and just led the effort to release Windows 8, left the company, effective immediately. Sinofsky, a controversial figure at the company, was reportedly warring with Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.

The company said the decision behind Sinofsky's departure was mutual, though the abruptness of the announcement might suggest otherwise. Some Microsoft watchers had pegged Sinofsky as a CEO-in-waiting, but he developed a reputation for being divisive and not working well with executives in other divisions.

In addition to Ballmer, the now-former Windows boss had reportedly been sparring with other Microsoft executives. Sources said at the time that the company's senior leadership was increasingly concerned about Sinofsky's inability to work across divisions at Microsoft.

Working with other groups is becoming more and more crucial for Microsoft, as it weaves its consumer offerings together. The company is racing to make Windows work well with Windows Phone and Xbox. Hindering that effort could stymie Microsoft's effort to take on rival's Apple and Google, which are also blending their consumer offerings.
•  Sinofsky's departure due to politics or products?
•  Meet Julie Larson-Green, the new head of Windows
•  Ballmer's memo announcing Steven Sinofsky's departure
•  Sinofsky's memo regarding his departure from Microsoft
•  Microsoft's mobile guru Andy Lees nabs a promotion

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