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Ousted Windows exec Sinofsky to teach at Harvard

Will return to Harvard Business School as 'Executive in Residence' to teach product development planning

Steven Sinofsky, the former Microsoft executive ousted as the head of its Windows group five weeks ago, yesterday said he would teach at the Harvard Business School this spring.

Sinofsky, 47, announced the move on his Twitter account Wednesday.

In follow-up tweets, Sinofsky said he would have the title "Executive in Residence," and that he would teach one or more classes on product development and planning. Sinofsky was instrumental in reviving the Windows franchise after the failure of Vista, guiding both Windows 7 and the redesigned Windows 8 through development. Prior to that, Sinofsky led the Office team through four versions of the money-making application suite.

He also said he would conduct research and write, with the latter perhaps including business cases based on his years at Microsoft.

Sinofsky resigned as president of the Windows division on Nov. 12, saying at the time that it had been his decision. But because his departure was effective immediately, and because he had a reputation as abrasive and unwilling to collaborate, most analysts believed that he had been forced out by CEO Steve Ballmer.

Some wondered if the tepid response to Windows 8 had prompted Ballmer to cut Sinofsky loose.

Sinofsky has been at the Harvard Business School before: In 1998, he was a visiting scholar at the Boston school. According to a Microsoft filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Sinofsky remains employed by the company until Dec. 31.

He is also the co-author of One Strategy, a 2009 book he wrote with Marco Iansiti of Harvard Business School. Iansiti, a professor at the school, heads its technology and operations management unit.

Harvard Business School did not immediately reply to a request to confirm Sinofsky's new position.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is [email protected].

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

Read more about it leadership in Computerworld's IT Leadership Topic Center.

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