Steven Sinofsky, a former executive with Microsoft and a major player on the Windows project, made a surprising announcement this morning. He is going to be joining venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as a board partner. But it isn’t a full time gig, he has explained.
Last November, Sinofsky left Microsoft where he had been a key leader on Windows for quite some time. Since then he has been working independently, both as an entrepreneur with a permanent spot at Harvard. He is also a prolific blogger at Learning By Shipping, where he has become well known for his educational posts.
For the last couple of months, he has been working as a consultant for the firm. Now it looks like he has made quite the impression, because he will be given a title and allowed to remain within that consultancy as an official partner.
“Board partners are unique at a16z. In this position I will represent the firm on the boards of portfolio companies when the opportunities present themselves, but will not be a full-time member of the firm,” he explained in a post on his blog.
“I’m relatively new to the VC world and have a lot of learning to do—and I am very excited to do that. I can’t think of a better place to do this than a16z [Andreessen Horowitz], as they share the commitment to learning and sharing that learning, for example through all the blog posts the GPs write.”
It should be interesting seeing how Sinofsky does on the funding side of the business coin. He has done a lot of work with the big boys, already. His role at the well established Microsoft shows that he is an old hat at product development and brand management.
But the VC work is going to put him at the very beginning of these still new companies. His expertise is sure to be valued, however it translates into aiding the initial funding process.
Could this be the first step in Sinofsky joining the ranks of A16Z completely? Consultancy doesn’t require a title, so it seems like they might be slipping him in as a board partner in order to see how he fits. Once he shows what he can do, perhaps he will be offered a full position within the company.
Only time will tell.
Source: Learning By Shipping