The Economic Times reports that former Microsoft (News - Alert) executive Steven Sinofsky has joined the prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as a part-time board partner, representing the firm on certain boards of companies it invests in. The report suggests that this move by Sinofsky was announced on the Microsoft executive’s personal blog last week.
To many, this comes as a surprise because Marc Andreessen, a co-founder of the venture capital firm, has long been a critic of Microsoft, since the software giant effectively crushed his Netscape Communications browser company in the 1990s.
As per the report, Andreessen Horowitz was founded in 2009 and is one of Silicon Valley's newest and most prominent venture capital firm. Recently, the firm funded companies such as photo-sharing business Instagram and accommodation service Airbnb.
According to the Economic Times, Sinofsky left Microsoft suddenly last November, soon after he led the rollout of Windows 8, after a difficult relationship with CEO Steve Ballmer (News - Alert). Interestingly, the Microsoft chief himself has announced his retirement next year after leading the software giant for more than a decade.
Meanwhile, the report indicates that Sinofsky continues to keep a low profile. An agreement with Microsoft prevents the former Microsoft executive from working with direct rivals such as Amazon, Apple or Facebook (News - Alert) for a year.
On his blog, Sinofsky wrote, "I'm especially excited to learn by spending more time with entrepreneurs and those creating new technologies and products." He added, "Andreessen Horowitz is a VC firm that believes deeply in helping entrepreneurs and helping change the product and business landscape."
Sinofsky, who joined Microsoft in July 1989 as a software design engineer, is credited for the development and marketing of Windows, Internet Explorer; as well as online services such as Outlook.com and SkyDrive.