Scott Forstall and Steven Sinofsky's Next Job
In less than three weeks, both Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) said goodbye to prominent executives. Scott Forstall, the former senior VP of iOS, has left his post and will officially leave Apple in 2013. Steven Sinofsky, the former president of Windows and Windows Live, left Microsoft this week.
Both men are expected to go far in the industry, but it is not yet clear where they will end up. Forstall is expected to be hired by another tech giant, such as Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) or Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), while Sinofsky may start his own business.
Whatever the case, all eyes will be on these two tech leaders as we head into the new year.
Forstall doesn't need a functional mapping application to steer him in the right direction. As the former head of Apple's mobile division, his career roadmap is fairly strong.
Facebook and Amazon could provide some interesting opportunities, especially if the latter firm wishes to develop its own operating system and leave Android behind. To that end, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is another firm that is bound to receive Forstall's resume.
Financial firms like Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) might be interested in Forstall's impeccable trading skills. Forstall anticipated Apple's devastating crash and sold most of his shares six months ago. Few on Wall Street can say that.
Forstall's unapologetic attitude might be attractive to the law firm representing Apple in England. He reportedly likes to take credit for other people's work. This quality might appeal to corporations that do the same thing.
In the old days, Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) would have hired Forstall as quickly as possible. The new, Marissa Mayer-powered Yahoo might not be as interested.
Forstall will bring a big name and a lot of media attention to any company he joins. As a result, startups and struggling enterprises are bound to be the first in line to hire him.
Sinofsky spent the last 23 years of his life working for Microsoft. Now that he has left the firm, it is hard to imagine that he will join another tech company without first considering other options.
In his internal memo to Microsoft employees, Sinofsky said that his "passion for building products is as strong as ever and I look forward focusing my energy and creativity along similar lines." Business Insider thinks this is code for, "I wasn't fired -- I quit. And I'm ready to compete with Microsoft."
Based on the internal memo and the public comments made by both Sinofsky and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, it is clear that he was not fired. But he is unlikely to build a firm with the intent of competing with Windows.
Rather, Sinofsky will probably build his own software company that compliments the work of Microsoft and other tech giants. If that initiative proves to be innovative, his former employer might be tempted to acquire the firm. But then Sinofsky would be back where he started.
If Sinofsky intends to look elsewhere for employment, he may very well explore opportunities at Google and Apple. However, the latter firm is unlikely to hire him. By taking on a former Microsoft employee that was responsible for leading Windows, Apple would publicly promote and justify everything that its competitor has done for the past 20 years. It would be Apple's subtle way of admitting that Windows is a worthy competitor to Mac OS -- not just in sales but in quality and execution. That is not a message Apple wants to send to investors.
Sinofsky might be better suited for Google, where he could help refine Android. He could work wonders at Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), but only as a replacement for its current CEO, Reed Hastings. (If Hastings was allowed to stay, Sinofsky would not be able to bring the necessary changes that are needed to ensure the company survives.)
Facebook and Amazon could also benefit from Sinofsky's talent.
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