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In a move that has left the tech industry somewhat perplexed, Steven Sinofsky is out at Microsoft. Yes, Sinofsky, who was thought by many to be the next CEO of Microsoft, is now out of a job. While the move is being played as a mutual decision between Sinofsky and Ballmer, I find it hard to believe. I also find it hard to believe that this decision occurred overnight, because there’s no way it did. I think this move was well-thought and carefully executed.

With both Windows 8 and the Surface released, it’s the perfect time to do a change of the guard for Microsoft. Rumor has it Sinofsky was tough to work with and had a very top-down approach to management. His successor, Julie Larson-Green is apparently a better communicator and team player. According to the memo sent out to Microsoft employees, “Julie has been a stalwart leader of building compelling “experiences” from her time on Internet Explorer, through the evolution of Office and most recently to the re-imagination of Windows. Her unique product and innovation perspective and proven ability to effectively collaborate and drive a cross company agenda will serve us well as she takes on this new leadership role.”

That’s some nice praise.

To me, it seems clear that this move was a long-time coming. There’s no way Ballmer would get rid of Sinofsky prior to the release of two major product releases — not only would that cause problems internally, but it would also look really bad from the outside. Could you imagine the tech coverage if Sinofsky left prior to the release of Windows 8 and Surface? It would be multiple-times worse.

This was the perfect time to replace Sinofsky. What do you think?


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