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Software giant and Dow-30 component Microsoft (MSFT - Free Microsoft Stock Report) has announced that Windows and Windows Live President Steve Sinofsky will be leaving the company. Mr. Sinofsky's responsibilities will be assumed by Julie Larson-Green, who has been promoted and will lead all Windows software and hardware engineering. In addition, Microsoft announced that Tami Reller will maintain her positions as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at the Windows and Windows Live division. Both executives will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

The management change was unexpected, given Mr. Sinofsky's successful tenure and coming so soon after the October 26th general release of Windows 8 and Surface, the company's entry in the tablet market, and investors responded by bidding down MSFT shares at the market's open on November 13th. Nonetheless, Ms. Larson-Green and Ms. Reller have extensive leadership and management experience at Microsoft and have been very deeply involved in the company's latest generation of Windows and Office products, suggesting that any disruption from the organizational changes are likely to be small. We are making no changes to our revenue and earnings estimates as a result of this announcement, and continue to recommend the stock to those with an intermediate time horizon.

At the time of this article’s writing, the author did not have positions in any of the companies mentioned.