Microsoft Shares Drop

Surprise departure of Steve Sinofsky has markets worried


(Reuters)—Shares of Microsoft Corp MSOFT.O slid on Tuesday after the surprise departure of a key executive, who analysts said marks the loss of the driving force behind the company's biggest product.

The shares were down 2.8 percent in afternoon at $27.21.

Microsoft on Monday night announced the departure of Steve Sinofsky, a 23-year veteran of the company and head of its flagship Windows unit, just two weeks after launching the Windows 8 operating system.