Sinofsky's exit followed failed empire attempt

A former Microsoft executive claims that Steven Sinofsky’s surprise exit was caused after he failed in a bid to bring additional parts of the company under his control.

Writing in his blog  Hal Berenson, president of consulting group True Mountain Group claimed that Sinofsky wanted to bring both Windows Phone and the Developer Division under his control.

However, when Sinofsky failed, he allegedly worked out that not managing to do so would ne a block to where he wanted to take Windows over the next few years. The failure to unite the two divisions was an indication that his political power had peaked, Berenson wrote.

The allegations were swiftly denied by Sinofsky who posted a comment that rumours of a multi-product takeover were rubbish.

“Relative to what you say above, I never initiated any discussions to bring together the organisations/products you describe and no one ever approached me to manage them as part of Windows 7 or 8,” he wrote.

He said that if Berenson had worked with Sinofsky he would know that historically, few things moved into teams he managed and when they did he pushed back hard looking for a cross-group way to achieve the goal.

Sinofsky said that collaborating within an existing organisation was better than disrupting it “unless it is on a product cycle boundary and far better to plan and execute together than just organise together”.

What is clear is that Sinofsky was seen as being a little too powerful in Microsoft. After he left, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer quietly split control of the Windows division between two executives reporting directly to him.