Microsoft doesn’t want its former Windows chief to work for these companies

Leading the charge: Windows President Steven Sinofsky.

Leading the charge: Windows President Steven Sinofsky.

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.

Read the full text of the agreement here.

  • Anonymous

    They fired the wrong Steve!

    • Guest

      You’re right Martin McCaulley. They should have done to Ballmer what they did to you.

      • Anonymous

        They should do to Ballmer what your mom did to me.

      • Anonymous

        That guy Martin McCaulley must be quite a guy for you Microsoft (M$) employees to focus so much attention on him (quite an awesome developer he is, I’ve heard). And I’m sure every Anonymous account is his, of course. That’s the kind of logic that makes you such a great company… …also shows Microsoft’s lack of ethical behavior… Oops, wasn’t suppose to let everyone know that M$ hires people full time to post to these types of forums…

        • Guest

          Was your outsized ego one of the reasons you got fired, Martin? And no, not every Anonymous account is you. Just the one you posted under using your real name initially, but stupidly think is now untraceable just because you later changed it to Anonymous. Wow, MS sure lost out when they canned someone as egotistical and stupid as you.

  • Guest

    After the fail of W8, maybe having him go to a competitor isn’t so much of a loss.