Ousted Windows leader Steven Sinofsky is joining venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz,
Kara Swisher at All Things D reports.
Sinofsky has been advising Andreessen Horowitz all year long says Swisher. This just makes the relationship more formal.
Sinofsky announced the move on his personal blog.
He will not be a VC for Andreessen Horowitz. He’ll be a board partner. He explains by saying, “Board partners are unique at a16z. In this position I will represent the firm on the boards of portfolio companies when the opportunities present themselves, but will not be a full-time member of the firm.
“I’m relatively new to the VC world and have a lot of learning to do — and I am very excited to do that.”
Sinofsky was a long-time Microsoft exec. He gets the bulk of the credit for building Windows 7, which was crucial for Microsoft. The version of Windows that preceded Windows 7, Windows Vista, was a total flop. He came in and fixed the problems with Vista and shipped Windows 7 on time.
Most recently, he led the development of Windows 8, which has not gone so well. The operating system is a radical change and consumers are not exactly flocking to it.
The reasons for Sinofsky’s departure from Microsoft remain murky. There are reports that CEO Steve Ballmer wanted to remove Sinofsky because he thought Sinofsky was not a team player.
After leaving Microsoft, Sinofsky went to work at Harvard. He says he’s staying at Harvard.
“Among other activities, I will maintain my EIR with Harvard Business School and will continue to pursue other business and product development opportunities that arise.”
SEC filings revealed that Sinofsky signed a non-compete with Microsoft that restricts what he can do until 2014. He’s not allowed to work for one of Microsoft’s big rivals like Apple, Google, or Facebook.