Steven Sinofsky joins Andreessen Horowitz

Former head of Windows will become board partner at the firm

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
August 22, 2013
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3187

Steven Sinofsky, the former head of Windows, has finally found a new home, after abruptly leaving Microsoft back in November, announcing in a blog post Thursday that he is becoming a board partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

In this role, he explained, he will "represent the firm on the boards of portfolio companies when the opportunities present themselves," but Sinofsky will not become 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. I can’t think of a better place to do this than a16z, as they share the commitment to learning and sharing that learning, for example through all the blog posts the GPs write," said Sinofsky.

"More than anything, what I find so cool about a16z are the values clearly articulated and lived day to day by everyone at the firm. From the very first time I got to hang out with folks I saw things that reminded me of the values that contribute to all great product (and company) efforts."

Specifically, he pointed to work that requires team effort, "being part of a team that works to let each person contribute at their highest level is how the resulting whole is greater than the sum of the parts." He also noted that he liked the idea of long term work, which takes efforts and helps create sustainable products.

In addition to his role at Andreessen Horowitz, Sinofsky says that he will continue his role as an Executive in Residence at Harvard University, a role that he has had since sometime this year, according to his LinkedIn profile

You have to wonder if his comments about team effort and long term projects might have been digs at his old employer.

Sinofsky spent his entire professional career at Microsoft, beginning as software design engineer all the way back in 1989, working his way up through the ranks, eventually becoming a vice president, then a senior vice president and then, finally, President of the Windows Division, where he oversaw the development of Windows 8. 

But then Sinofsky shocked everyone by leaving the company in November, only weeks after Windows 8 launched. There was speculation of bad blood between Sinofsky and his former employers, though Sinofsky publically praised Microsoft on his way out, saying, "It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft. I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company."

Either way, that is all behind him now, and Sinofsky made it clear that he is going to take his experience and put it to good use at Andreessen Horowitz.

"My own experience in product development has been focused on learning and changing from within an organization as part of teams—scaling teams, building the first professional GUI dev tools for Windows, marshaling the company around the “InterNet”, bringing together disparate apps to create Office, creating the first collaboration servers, and shifting to the tablet era," he wrote.

"Each was decidedly a new effort working to change the rules of the product game while learning along the way. Bringing this relevant experience to new companies is something I’m excited to do."

(Image source: http://news.cnet.com)