Steven Sinofsky

Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky recently left his post as the head of the company’s Windows and Windows Live divisions. The move was sudden and left a few pundits confused as to why he decided to leave — especially in the early days of the Windows 8 and Windows Surface launch. It turns out he might not have been an easy person to work with.

AllThingsD spoke to several sources within Microsoft, one of which said that he “picked a lot of fights” with other executives. One executive he butted heads with was Stephen Elop, who left Microsoft recently to serve as the CEO of Nokia. But Elop and Nokia are major partners for Microsoft, especially for its Windows Phone 8 devices. Apparently Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Sinofsky got along, but he wasn’t sure that Sinofsky was the right man to lead Windows into the future. Ballmer spoke with Bill Gates, according to AllThingsD, and Gates ultimately agreed with Ballmer’s viewpoint.

Apparently Sinofsky’s departure had been planned for several weeks, even as he took the stage to introduce Windows 8. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of a recent shake up related to an executive’s attitude. Apple’s former iOS head Scott Forstall was also apparently difficult to work with.

[via AllThingsD]