The Freeland File
Aerospace & Defense
Global Market Data
Lucy P. Marcus
The Great Debate
Macro & Markets
Lipper Awards 2012
Personal Finance Video
The household bio-reactors of the future
Researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory are developing a mobile reactor they say will one day play a crucial role in helping people after natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. Video
Video: McAfee founder wanted by police
Startup Square battles payment giants
Clinton foundation to tackle health disparities
Petraeus scandal widens, snares U.S. commander in Afghanistan
Three women intertwine in downfall of David Petraeus
12 Nov 2012
Iran unveils new missile systems on second day of drills
Special Report: How a vicious circle of self-interest sank a California city
Software pioneer McAfee says framed for murder in Belize
After Obama win, U.S. backs new U.N. arms treaty talks
Obama plans ”fiscal cliff” statement as showdown looms
Republicans say deal can be done on ”fiscal cliff”
Microsoft shares fall after departure of key executive
Microsoft's Windows head, once a possible CEO, exits
Microsoft's Surface tablet has "modest" start: Ballmer
Mon, Nov 12 2012
UPDATE 2-AT&T's Nokia Windows phones priced to undercut rivals
Tue, Nov 6 2012
Windows Phone sales to "ramp quickly": Microsoft CEO
Mon, Nov 5 2012
Microsoft vs Google trial raises concerns over secrecy
Fri, Nov 2 2012
Analysis & Opinion
AOL: Down so long, itâ€™s starting to look up
Essential reading: Looming capital gains tax hike motivates owners to sell, and more
Hot Stocks »
Asian Markets »
By Sarah McBride
SAN FRANCISCO |
Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:19pm EST
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Microsoft Corp MSOFT.O slid on Tuesday after the surprise departure of a key executive, who analysts said marks the loss of the driving force behind the company's biggest product.
The shares were down 2.8 percent in afternoon at $27.21.
Microsoft on Monday night announced the departure of Steve Sinofsky, a 23-year veteran of the company and head of its flagship Windows unit, just two weeks after launching the Windows 8 operating system.
Analysts fear that Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is driving out talent just as the company needs it most.
"Sinofsky may have ruled the kingdom with an iron fist, but he performed amazingly well in rescuing Windows following Vista," Wells Fargo analysts said in a research note on Tuesday, referring to Microsoft's previous operating system. "While we think Windows 8 and Surface have promise, there is still a ton of work ahead to catch iOS and Android."
Apple AAPL.o and Google (GOOG.O) are seen as holding the lead for systems for mobile computing, a huge growth driver.
Ballmer has replaced the heads of Microsoft's five main operating units in the past four years.
Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Financial, said that while he generally has applauded bringing in new blood, "in this case I don't applaud it.
"This is a negative. If I was the CEO, I would have kept him," he added.
Ballmer may have been unhappy with Sinofsky's ability to work with other business units, or the pace of progress under him, analysts said.
Sinofsky's abrasive management style may also have contributed to his departure, analysts said.
Microsoft on Monday named two executives who are relatively unknown outside of technology circles to assume Sinofsky's responsibilities, something that analysts said could also be dragging on the stock. Julie Larson-Green will head the Windows hardware and software division, while Tami Reller will remain chief financial officer of the Windows unit and assume responsibility for the business of Windows.
In a statement issued Monday night, Ballmer said it was "imperative that we continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings."
(Reporting By Sarah McBride; Editing by Leslie Adler)
Related Quotes and News
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Be the first to comment on reuters.com.
Add yours using the box above.
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.