Steve Ballmer – Microsoft’s current CEO – still has the support of at least one influential person in the company’s chain of command: Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft.
According to Kara Swisher of All Things D, Gates agreed that the removal of Sinofsky would help to generate more cross-company collaboration:
While Gates — who is now chairman of Microsoft’s board — has had a longtime and very close relationship with Sinofsky, he supported the move by Ballmer to promote more integration of Microsoft’s other divisions and also involve other top executives more significantly than ever before in the planning and development of the next version of Windows.
It’s now clear that, while Sinofsky wasn’t fired because of his performance, his removal was done in order to help achieve the “One Microsoft” vision – one UI, one core OS, and one set of cloud technologies. Sinofsky is actually famous for being very controlling, and keeping secrets and other pieces of information from both the press and other departments in Microsoft – in many ways, his management style is more fitting to Apple than Microsoft. Regardless of who the actual problem at Microsoft is, we know now that Bill Gates is still in support of Ballmer.