Sinofsky “Retires”

“Steven Sinofsky and Microsoft Corporation have entered into an agreement (the “Retirement Agreement”) relating to Mr. Sinofsky’s resignation as President of the Windows Division on November 12, 2012. The Retirement Agreement includes covenants by Mr. Sinofsky to: (i) not compete with Microsoft by accepting employment at certain competitors or encouraging certain customers of Microsoft to choose a competing offering to Microsoft products; (ii) not solicit Microsoft employees to terminate their employment or work for other entities; (iii) cooperate in litigation brought by or against Microsoft; (iv) not disparage Microsoft; and (v) continue complying with certain provisions of the Microsoft Corporation Employee Non-Disclosure Agreement between Microsoft and him related to intellectual property rights and confidentiality of Microsoft and third-party information. Mr. Sinofsky also agreed to a release of claims against Microsoft and its related parties.

In return for the performance of his obligations under the Retirement Agreement, Microsoft will pay the value of his outstanding unvested stock awards granted prior to fiscal year 2013 and 50% of the shares of stock awarded for his performance during fiscal year 2013, all based on the vesting schedule that would have applied in connection with a qualifying “retirement” on his separation date under his stock award agreements, (a total of 418,361 shares). The payments will be made over time through August 2016 according to the vesting schedules for the stock awards. The value of the shares will be determined by market price as of each vesting date. Microsoft agreed to indemnify Mr. Sinofsky against claims arising from acts or omissions relating to his employment at Microsoft pursuant to the Company’s Articles of Incorporation.”

see MSFT’s FORM 8-K.

I guess this shows the mind-set of the top dogs in M$. They will do anything for money. M$ is terribly afraid of competition even from old men. CEO Ballmer seems terribly afraid of people who actually know how to make a good product… Sinofsky rose through the ranks making tons of money for M$ from 1989. To me “7” and “8” are not good products but bloated malware magnets getting in the way of what users want to do.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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3 Responses to Sinofsky “Retires”

  1. bw says:

    M$ stock has not been a good deal since way back

    It is easy to pick your dates based on hindsight, but you seem to have extreme myopia even then. If you had purchased a load of MSFT on the date that your article declaiming Microsoft to be a bad investment had come out, you would be well over 100% to the good by now, more than doubling your money. Stocks ebb and flow based on investor confidence levels in all manner of things that do not involve company activities. They are fickle and so do not really measure anything about the worth of the company.

    Sinofsky’s wealth doesn’t come from trading MSFT stock anyway. He got the 418K shares just for being a pal to Balmer and the others, so the $34 closing price yesterday is just a $17 million way of saying “Thanks!’. Non-compete and protection of client information is just something the lawyers are always on about and is just boilerplate that no one ever really reads, just like the EULA (Pogson here being a notable exception! 🙂 ).

    Go back to just daydreaming about how Microsoft may yet come to its demise and how you, too, might one day be financially independent. Don’t delay, though, tomorrow may come with news of added Microsoft success and your reveries will be destroyed.

  2. There’s so many strings attached to his departure that he essentially continues working for them even if it is called a retirement. It may be standard practice, minus the bonuses, to tie the hands and close the mouths of departing staff. An insider could provide good testimony to confirm what many have deduced through external observation.

    @bw, M$ stock has not been a good deal since way back:
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/11/22/technology/microsoft_stock/
    http://crosscut.com/2009/02/26/crosscut-blog/18846/Microsoft-stock-bad-investment/
    http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-stock-continues-to-slide-as-investors-become-worried-about-future

    and that’s not counting tricks like buybacks. It’s definitely not a bluechip by anyone’s measure.

  3. bw says:

    Just another Microsoft multi-millionaire opting out of the hustle and bustle of the workaday world newly free to enjoy his rewards! Doesn’t it just make you mad? What the article does not say is how most of his rewards came from earlier incentive stock option awards. Those stock grants of today are just chump change compared to the ISOs handed out in the 80s and 90s before Microsoft morphed into more of a Blue Chip stock than a go-go growth item.

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