Microsoft Paid Sinofsky $14M to be Jobless for a Year

By: Radu Tyrsina
2 minute read

If you’ve been following Microsoft news lately, then you know that Steven Sinofsky resigned from Microsoft in November, 2012. But we didn’t see mister Sinofsky getting hired anywhere, right? We knew that when Sinofsky quit his job at Microsoft,  he agreed not to compete with Microsoft by accepting employment at “certain competitors”. But only recently have we found out which are those competitors.

The information was revealed by Microsoft itself as part of company’s annual 10-K filling. The retirement agreement between Microsoft and Steven Sinofsky is accessible on this page.

steven sinofksy 14 million microsoft

Steven Sinofsky to sit on his butt until December 31st, 2013

Microsoft gave Sinfosky a more than generous exit bonus of $14 Million, not in cash, but in stock options, of course. If Sinofsky remained with the company he would have vested that stock. Therefore, in exchange for that stock award, as we understand from the retirement agreement, Sinofsky, Windows’ former head, “agreed for a period of time not to disparage Microsoft, not to solicit Microsoft employees for work at other companies and not to encourage Microsoft customers to choose competitors’ products”.

Also, Microsoft explicitly asked that Sinosky should now join the following companies:

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • EMC
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Oracle
  • VMWare

Correct me if I’m wrong, but even if we can’t say mister Sinfosky is poor, we can say he is jobless, as he hasn’t been employed anywhere, so far. Not that he wouldn’t have enough money to just be on vacation for an entire year, but this is a clear indication that Steven Sinofksy wants to or probably has been offered a job exactly by those companies mentioned above.

The retirement agreement ends on December 31st, 2013. I am almost sure that on January 1st, 2014, we will hear the news that Steven Sinofsky has joined one of the above mentioned companies. With a huge 23-years experience at Microsoft, Steven Sinofsky represents a very precious “asset” for whichever of the companies that will hire him.

But him working for Apple will be a real shock.

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