Microsoft Windows president leaving company

Microsoft announced Monday that Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky will be leaving the company. (Photo:

In a surprise, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Balmer announced Monday that Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky will be leaving the company.

Ballmer said that Julie Larson-Green will be promoted to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering. The changes are effective immediately.

No reason was cited for Sinofsky's departure from the company, where he has worked for 23 years.

“It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft. I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company,” Sinofsky said in a statement released by the company.

“I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company,” Ballmer said of Sinofsky. “The products and services we have delivered to the market in the past few months mark the launch of a new era at Microsoft. We’ve built an incredible foundation with new releases of Microsoft Office, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Microsoft Surface, Windows Server 2012 and ‘Halo 4,’ and great integration of services such as Bing, Skype and Xbox across all our products.”

According to, Sinofsky took over the leadership of Microsoft’s Windows Division after the Windows Vista release and righted the ship with the development of Windows 7, before overseeing the transformation of the flagship operating system for tablets and touch screens with the Windows 8 release.

The Microsoft news release said that, since 1993 Larson-Green "has worked on and led some of the most successful products for Microsoft, including the user experiences for early versions of Internet Explorer, and helped drive the thinking behind the refresh of the user experience for Microsoft Office. For Windows 7 and Windows 8 she was responsible for program management, user interface design and research, as well as development of all international releases."

Larson-Green has a master’s degree in software engineering from Seattle University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Washington University. In her new role she will be responsible for all future Windows product development in addition to future hardware opportunities, Microsoft said.

“Leading Windows engineering is an incredible challenge and opportunity, and as I looked at the technical and business skills required to continue our Windows trajectory — great communication skills, a proven ability to work across product groups, strong design, deep technical expertise, and a history of anticipating and meeting customer needs — it was clear to me that Julie is the best possible person for this job, and I’m excited to have her in this role,” Ballmer said.