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Microsoft restores $14.3M in stock awards to ex-Windows chief Sinofsky

Gregg Keizer | July 8, 2013
Agreement bars ousted exec from working for unnamed rivals or criticizing company.

Rumors have swirled for the last several weeks about an impending corporate reorganization at the Redmond, Wash. company, which may be announced this week. After the unexpected decampment July 1 of Don Mattrick, head of Microsoft's Xbox division, Larson-Green has emerged as the front-runner to lead the hardware side of Microsoft, with responsibilities for the Surface line of tablets as well as the game console.

Reller, meanwhile, was reportedly a candidate for the company's top financial position who lost out to Amy Hood. In May, Hood was named corporate CFO to replace Peter Klein. Although Reller and Larson-Green both participated in a short public relations blitz in May to trumpet the then-pending Windows 8.1 upgrade, Reller did not participate in the keynote addresses at Microsoft's BUILD developers conference last month. Instead, Larson-Green took the BUILD stage to pitch Windows 8.1.

Earlier this year, Sinofsky was an executive in residence at the Harvard Business School. He continues to write about product management, development and release practices on his personal blog, "Learning by Shipping."

In that blog, Sinofsky has been careful not to sling mud at Microsoft, or even mention it in more than passing. And at the May conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD blog, Sinofsky evaded questions when he was asked why Windows 8 had not done better out the gate.

During that May interview, Sinofsky also said, "I love Microsoft. I love the people, the leadership."

That love may have brought him an extra $14 million.


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