Steven Sinofsky, the former president of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows division who abruptly left the company last fall after a 23-year run amid rumors of friction with chief executive Steve Ballmer, has gone to work for venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as a board partner, according to a blog he posted Thursday.
Sinofsky, who left Microsoft less than a month after shepherding the company's momentous launch of Windows 8, said at the D: All Things Digital conference in May that he’d been spending his time with startups in addition to lecturing at the Harvard Business School. His new job will allow him to continue to examine new business and product development opportunities, he said.
In his blog post, Sinofsky said that although his position as a board partner at Andreessen Horowitz is not full time, he will serve as the VC’s representative on the boards of companies in which it has invested. In acknowledging that he’s new to the VC world, Sinofsky said, “I’m especially excited to learn by spending more time with entrepreneurs and those creating new technologies and products. Andreessen Horowitz is a VC firm that believes deeply in helping entrepreneurs and helping change the product and business landscape, which is why I am thrilled to join the firm as a board partner.”
He suggested some of the value he brings to the venture capital firm’s customers resides in his experience working with product development teams on a wide variety of projects aimed at a larger goal.
“My own experience in product development has been focused on learning and changing from within an organization as part of teams—scaling teams, building the first professional GUI dev tools for Windows, marshaling the company around the ‘InterNet,’ bringing together disparate apps to create Office, creating the first collaboration servers, and shifting to the tablet era,” he wrote.
“Each was decidedly a new effort working to change the rules of the product game while learning along the way. Bringing this relevant experience to new companies is something I’m excited to do.”