The reasons that Microsoft and Steven Sinofsky gave for Sinofsky’s unexpected and abrupt departure last week seemed to raise questions for many people.
Sinofsky, the President of Microsoft’s Windows Division, had just released the latest version of the Windows 8 operating system when he announced that he would be immediately resigning to “pursue other opportunities.”
Seen by some as a likely successor to current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Sinofsky’s “abrasive” behavior might have created a hostile work environment and caused too many company executives to become enemies. This might have been the main factor that eventually convinced Ballmer to push out this talented executive.
CNET’s Jay Greene, who spoke with over a dozen current and former executives at Microsoft and its partners, reported that Sinofsky “thrived by marginalizing rivals” and that he “created a toxic work environment that has chased talented employees away.”
According to the New York Times, several current and former Microsoft executives said that “Sinofsky’s departure came after an accumulation of run-ins with Mr. Ballmer and other company leaders, rather than a single incident.”
Hal Berenson, a former General Manager at Microsoft, characterized Sinofsky as “an executive who was tearing the company apart from the inside.”