In the same announcement which revealed the news that Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky would be leaving the company, Microsoft also announced his successor. Julie Larson-Green is being promoted to lead all software and hardware engineering related to Windows and other Microsoft online and offline products.
She is a 19-year Microsoft veteran who is behind the most recent interface changes in Microsoft’s Office suite of software and primarily deals with user interface design and research. She has a master’s degree in Software Engineering from Seattle University and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Western Washington University. In addition to Microsoft Office, she has also worked on the user experience for Internet Explorer.
What might be the most significant characteristic for the new Windows head, however, may be her leadership style. While Steven Sinofsky has previously been reported to having a tight grip on control and a controversial management style, Julie Larson-Green on the other hand has been known to advocate an environment of getting people to work together and promoting a culture where communication and collaboration is key to creating a better product.
The timing of this leadership change might not be ideal due to it’s close proximity to the recent launches of Windows 8 and Windows Phone, but a change in management and style might just provide that needed boost to Microsoft in today’s highly competitive landscape.