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Steven Sinofsky snags $14 million in Microsoft shares, can’t ‘disparage’ the company

Steven Sinofsky

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, former Windows boss Steven Sinofsky will be rewarded with 418,361 Microsoft shares, which is worth a little over $14 million dollars. On top of the shares, Sinofsky has agreed to several other clauses including a clause that prevents him from talking bad about the software giant.

For those that don’t remember, Steven Sinofsky was the man behind the development and marketing of Windows 8 as well as the Surface and abruptly left the software giant back in November of 2012. As part of this “Retirement Agreement”, Sinofsky is prevented from accepting employment from certain competitors (which wasn’t mentioned in the report but you can take a wild guess) as well as encouraging Microsoft customers to choose a competitors product, at least until the end of this year.

Sinofsky is also prevented from talking bad about the software giant, as part of a “not disparage Microsoft” clause. Sinofsky is also not allowed to “solicit Microsoft employees to terminate their employment or work for other entities.”

“Given Steven’s 23 years of strong service at Microsoft, which included leading teams that produced six versions of Office and two versions of Windows, the company will continue to provide him with the economic value of the stock awards he earned during his employment, similar to the retirement benefits we provide employees who work at least 15 years and retire at 55 or older. This agreement provides a number of important considerations for Microsoft, including a commitment that Steven will continue assisting with intellectual property litigation until January 1, 2017,” Microsoft stated.

The SEC filing doesn’t reveal much more about Sinfosky’s retirement agreement. For those curious, Steven Sinofsky has been blogging over at Learning by Shipping and is currently teaching at Harvard Business School.

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