Barely two weeks after playing a prominent role in Microsoft's launch of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet, Redmond veteran Steven Sinofsky is out as head of the Windows Division, effective immediately.
Sinofsky, who led development and marketing of Microsoft's flagship product for more than three years, joined the company as a software design engineer in July 1989. His departure, announced late Monday, was abrupt and took the tech and business worlds by surprise
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer addressed Sinofsky's departure in a company statement, describing the move as a "leadership change" without explaining why such a prominent and out-front executive was leaving the company so soon after the roll out of its biggest new product in years.
"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," Ballmer said.
Sinofsky took over the Windows Division in July 2009 after more than a decade contributing to and leading the development of Microsoft's Office products. He was also heavily involved in recruiting talent to the Redmond-based company over the years.