Microsoft: Steven Sinofsky (President of Windows Division)
Why this is a big quit:
Within weeks after throwing Microsoft’s biggest Hail Mary pass that is Windows 8, Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft’s Windows leader for three years, walked off the field. He joined the company as a software design engineer and ended his 23-year tenure in November. After the turmoil of Windows Vista, Sinofsky took over and successfully delivered Windows 7 on time and restored customer loyalty and trust. In addition to Windows 8, marketed as the “new era” of desktop and mobile computing, Sinofsky led development of Surface, Microsoft’s first tablet and was expected to be in the succession line.
Why it’s not as big as our Top 10:
There is still speculation going on regarding whether Sinofsky was fired or voluntarily resigned. His immediate departure raised many questions about Steve Balmer’s (current CEO) influence and internal power struggles. Whatever the reason, Microsoft’s Winodws 8 throw has yet to touchdown. If unsuccessful, Sinofsky may be scapegoated. In any case, Microsoft will need to respond with a dramatic shift in revenue model as mobile’s third screen prominence grows.