Explaining Steven Sinofsky's resignation from Microsoft

Steven Sinofsky has left Microsoft. If you find yourself saying “Why” or, more importantly, “Wait - who?” then read on as we explain it so even your mom can understand

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Don't blame Steven Sinofsky for Clippy

ITworld/Phil Johnson

He’s not the guy who came up with Clippy, was he?

No, Clippy was designed by a fellow named Kevan Atteberry.

Well, if he wasn’t responsible for Clippy, and Windows was doing well under him, why did he leave the company? Was it because he was having an extramarital affair?

No, you’re thinking for former CIA-head David Petraeus.

Oh. Did Sinofsky's departure have anything to do with a sex scandal, at least?

Sorry to disappoint you, but no.

Dang. Then why did he leave? Was he fired or did he resign?

Hard to say for sure. The official word is it was a mutual decision. You can try and judge for yourself by reading his resignation letter, and the response from his boss, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, neither of which sheds much light on what happened.

That’s the official word, but what’s the real story?

There are a bunch of theories out there; some say fellow executives found him particularly hard to work with, while others say Steve Ballmer pushed him out in some sort of power struggle.

When does he officially leave Microsoft?

His resignation was effective immediately, so he’s already gone.

Wow. Did he get escorted out of the building? Did he even have a chance to steal any office supplies on the way out?

Don’t know.

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