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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Former Windows Chief Can’t Help Rivals

After getting a $10 million compensation for leaving the company, ousted ex-Microsoft Windows chief Steve Sinofsky was also banned from working for rivals.

According to media reports, Sinofsky, who left Microsoft in November 2012, is contractually unable to join top Microsoft rivals, such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, EMC, Oracle, or VMWare within the next two years. Moreover, Sinofsky is also banned from entering negotiations with IBM, Dell, Intel and Nokia in order to disrupt their relationships with Microsoft.

Steve Sinofsky, who was considered a candidate for next Microsoft CEO, was ousted from Microsoft by Ballmer in 2012, when the latter was consolidating his power over the company. Sinofsky has been working for Microsoft for the last 23 years and was responsible for the flagship Windows 7 and Windows 8. However, there were rumors that he wasn’t happy to leave, and is known as a fan of making executive decisions without consulting the other voles.

When Sinofsky was leaving, there were also rumors that he was trying to bring further Microsoft divisions under his control, but failed. Ballmer split the executive control of Windows into two positions, and after the poor Windows 8 launch, pushing Sinofsky out of the company was not too difficult for Ballmer, though this move surprised others.

So, it wasn’t much of a surprise that volish lawyers penned such a restrictive list taking into account the nature of Sinofsky leaving. The Windows chief was forced not to approach a long list of companies about reconsidering their custom with Microsoft. The top companies in the list were Samsung, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, HP, IBM, HTC, Intel, LG, Nokia, and Sony.

Of course, considering both Microsoft’s dismal efforts to turn itself into a hardware company and the disastrous Surface tablet, most of its rival may not need much of a push to start with. In the meantime, if Sinofsky keeps his word and doesn’t join any of Microsoft’s largest rivals within the next couple years, or squawk to the competition about how lousy Microsoft is, he is due over $10 million to cover for 418,000 share options.

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