Julie Larson Green

TED S. WARREN / AP

Julie Larson-Green in 2009

CEO-in-waiting Steve Sinofsky is out at Microsoft. In a surprise announcement Monday night, the company said the Windows president is leaving. Sinofsky is credited with righting the Windows ship after the Vista debacle to bring Windows 7, then Windows 8 to market.

This news is big. Many thought that Sinofsky was a potential successor to Steve Ballmer as the next chief executive, even though he was known as a difficult person to work with. But the news is equally big that two women have ascended to Ballmer’s inner circle. I can see the lights of heaven and hear angels singing.

For awhile now Microsoft has lagged behind Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard in promoting women to key senior leadership positions.

Julie Larson-Green and Tami Reller, who previously reported to Sinofsky, will now report to Ballmer. Larson Green has been promoted to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering. Green is local. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Washington University and a master’s degree in software engineering from Seattle University. She’s also a Microsoft lifer, having worked there since 1993.

Reller, the chief financial officer and chief marketing officer, retains her title but will also report to Ballmer. Reller has worked at Microsoft since 2001. She joined Microsoft when it acquired Great Plains Software, where she served as CFO. Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a master’s in business administration from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif.