Microsoft’s annual Form 10-K filing, made public this afternoon, includes an exhibit that contains the text of the “retirement agreement” between the company and its former Windows chief, Steven Sinofsky.
The agreement was previously summarized in a regulatory filing, but this is the actual text, and it includes new details such as the companies that Sinofsky isn’t allowed to work for under the terms of the agreement, for the remainder of this calendar year.
And they are … Amazon, Apple, EMC, Facebook, Google, Oracle, and VMWare.
As noted by GigaOm, the names aren’t a huge surprise, but they are a window into Microsoft’s competitive mindset, at least.
Under the deal, Sinofsky was awarded stock worth more than $14 million in exchange for his agreement not to compete against the company, disclose secret information, disparage Microsoft or work for certain competitors. The text of the agreement clarifies that this reflects the stock that would have vested and been payable to Sinofsky had he stayed.
The agreement also includes a provision saying that Sinofsky “will not be entitled to any future employment with Microsoft or any subsidiary, joint venture, or affiliate of Microsoft in which Microsoft owns an interest of 50 percent or more.” However, that is a boilerplate clause, and doesn’t preclude Sinofsky from returning to the company someday.
Sinofsky oversaw a turnaround of the Windows business starting with Windows 7, and led an overhaul of the operating system with Windows 8, before his sudden departure at the end of the year. He and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer clashed over a variety of issues prior to his departure. Most recently, Sinofsky has been teaching classes at Harvard.