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  1. iBandar's Avatar
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       #1  
    I don't know how I feel about this, I actually liked Steve Ballmer. Who do you think will take the place?

    One thing's for sure: whoever steps into Ballmer's shoes is going to have bring some sweaty, screaming enthusiasm to Redmond. But whoever the John Thompson-chaired succession committee picks, we'll certainly miss keynote dances and chants of, "Developers! Developers! Developers!" when Steve Ballmer steps down from his job as the head of Microsoft some time within the next 12 months. There aren't a ton of details regarding the decision at the moment -- though a press release issued by the company (which you can find in all of PR speak glory below) is certainly positioning the move as voluntary on Ballmer's part, stating that the exec, "has decided to retire."

    Microsoft: Steve Ballmer stepping down within a year
  2. gsquared's Avatar
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    #2  
    I wondered why the stock is way up in premarket trading this morning.
    Support your third-party developers. There just about all we have...
  3. FinancialP's Avatar
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    #3  
    He was only bad with PR. Everything else he was good, Microsoft has been the most profitable under is leadership.
  4. gandhirushi's Avatar
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    #4  
    Ballmer did some great things for Microsoft and his commitment, enthusiasm and love for Microsoft is unmatched. But I was never his fan nor like his "Developers Developers Developers" chants. His reaction and views about apple's first iPhone when it was introduced was utterly stupid and maintained how great windows mobile phones were(piece of sh*t phones) and never really bothered to come up with a plan to rival iOS until it was too late. Oh well.. I'm glad he's leaving and I'm all for WP8!
  5. AngryNil's Avatar
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    #5  
    I'm worried more than anything. Whatever mishaps happened along the way, Ballmer was sticking to a vision. I hope whoever the replacement is doesn't change that too much.
  6. #6  
    Love or hate Ballmer, he kept Microsoft as one of the wealthiest tech companies in the world for over a decade. Even managed a few years of record profits as well. That's a track record that's going to be hard to beat. Despite all the failures and missed opportunities he kept Microsoft rolling strong. Never afraid to cut off a limb if it made the tree stronger. Plus, the dude must be one smooth talker because he's locked down some amazing deals over the years. Can you imagine where Windows Phone would be if Microsoft didn't secure Nokia? Or how much farther behind Microsoft would be if they didn't already have a music and video service with Zune? Windows now runs on ARM and the Xbox One looks posed to usher in a new era of home entertainment. And Office 365 which is apparently just printing money now. It's been a wild ride but an exciting one. Now that Microsoft has completed their reorganization it should be leaner, meaner and ready for the future. Whoever takes over is going to have some pretty big shoes to fill and hopefully his (or hers) commitment and belief in Microsoft is just as strong as Ballmer's.

    But if there is one major knock I would give to Ballmer it's that he waited too long to get rid of that useless marketing department.
    "Engineering is more than just the number of megapixels." - Stephen Elop
  7. pbankey's Avatar
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    #7  
    I'm probably going to be in the minority. Oh well.

    I'm so glad to hear this news. I think Microsoft is at a point of inflection when it comes to diving into a true consumer technology market and they need a guy that is a true visionary with good experience doing this to lead them there. My thought for years has been that Ballmer was a sales guy sitting inside of a CEO position. I hope Microsoft chooses wisely for their next leader and finds someone who has a true passion for great products. The surface was a great first step but I think this is getting out of bounds from what Ballmer has been doing since he took over. I remember Ballmer mentioning how tablets were just a "fad". Oops. I feel like MIcrosoft has been in a game of continuous catchup because their leadership has lacked oversight and failed to see where the market was going... many times. It's time to be on the offense of pushing technology and being the innovators of the industry.

    That's not to say he didn't have anything great to offer; he had a ton of positive things he's done for the company. I just found it odd and wondered what other enormous company would keep a CEO in a position that long when they have managed to cut their stock price over the course of their tenure.

    But this is the first step Microsoft needs to shed their old image and get rid of some of the bad associations people have with the company. People love to hate Microsoft. That truly sucks for us, who see through the garbage and recognize the potential they have in a new world of technology.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
  8. pbankey's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by HeyCori View Post
    Love or hate Ballmer, he kept Microsoft as one of the wealthiest tech companies in the world for over a decade. Even managed a few years of record profits as well. That's a track record that's going to be hard to beat. Despite all the failures and missed opportunities he kept Microsoft rolling strong. Never afraid to cut off a limb if it made the tree stronger. Plus, the dude must be one smooth talker because he's locked down some amazing deals over the years. Can you imagine where Windows Phone would be if Microsoft didn't secure Nokia? Or how much farther behind Microsoft would be if they didn't already have a music and video service with Zune? Windows now runs on ARM and the Xbox One looks posed to usher in a new era of home entertainment. And Office 365 which is apparently just printing money now. It's been a wild ride but an exciting one. Now that Microsoft has completed their reorganization it should be leaner, meaner and ready for the future. Whoever takes over is going to have some pretty big shoes to fill and hopefully his (or hers) commitment and belief in Microsoft is just as strong as Ballmer's.

    But if there is one major knock I would give to Ballmer it's that he waited too long to get rid of that useless marketing department.
    I like some of your points but can't help but to wonder where Windows Phone could have been if Microsoft took more initiative in the mobile phone industry in its early ages when their competitor products were flip phones. Ballmer has done a good job trying to fight back in a tough market but it doesn't overshadow the fact that they were almost too little too late. Some of these missed and late opportunities are critical wounds that perpetuate the stereotype that Microsoft is not a forward-thinking and innovative company.
  9. iamtim's Avatar
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    #9  
    Yeah, Ballmer's Microsoft missed a couple of opportunities... smartphones, tablets, pretty much everything outside of desktop and game consoles. However, I think he's realized his mistakes and done a good job righting them - for all the bad press, the company now has a solid vision that they're pushing for (Windows 8, Surface, Windows Phone, Xbox, etc.) and if history has shown us anything it's that once Microsoft really starts pushing for something, they won't stop until they've got it.

    Dude's a PR nightmare, though.
  10. #10  
    There is no way to dance around the subject: Ballmer missed a ton of boats. Let's be clear: He was a software man in a software monolith that knew where the bread was buttered, and in the software world his leadership was pricless. But, he failed to see software was limiting, and failed to see how mobile was going to explode. He was a prisoner of success.

    But, as @iamtim states, the man kicked it into high gear when all was revealed. He went about transforming MS into a services company with a very controlled panic. He got cloud based tools into high gear, he took a Zune that had failed and got the right people in place to transform it into an entertainment service through XBOX, he drug MS into the mobile age, and cut some serious fat out of the grizzled steak MS mangement had become to get decisions and ideas to work across the board. Sure, he was about 3 years too slow, but MS has a true vision for the future.

    There were no scandals, there were no hints of upheavels. He was loyal to his people even as they left for other jobs. There were no mass lay-offs. The man WORKED. He loved his company, and it showed. Some say he was a PR nightmare. I say he was bloody entertaining.

    In other words- MS didn't thrive under him, but this was no Palm, no HP, no RIM, no failure either. Yes, it is time for him to move aside. But MS is in good position for the future. Give the man his due.
    "Life is hard. But it is harder when you are stupid."
    -John Wayne
  11. Reflexx's Avatar
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsquared View Post
    I wondered why the stock is way up in premarket trading this morning.
    The stock market is weird like that. With so many people thinking themselves amateur stock brokers, we often see large swings based on nothing more than people's hunches.
    HeyCori and snowmutt like this.
  12. Reflexx's Avatar
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    #12  
    I think people don't understand how tough it is for a company like Microsoft, who had such tremendous success in the past, to transition into a new age.

    MANY companies can't do this. They fail because they can't change. And that's without the DOJ coming in and putting handcuffs on them for 10 yrs.

    MS could have easily fallen by the wayside, and nobody would have blinked an eye. Because that's the norm.

    Instead, MS is still relevant and has an exciting new direction.
    Thanked by:
    HeyCori and jeffskent like this.
  13. Simon Tupper's Avatar
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    #13  
    I hope it's not Julie Larson Green. Not that she doesn't have the required skills, but she is terrible on stage. the tone of her voice makes want to sleep
  14. bryantest's Avatar
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    #14  
    Good riddance to this guy

    Sure he kept Microsoft profitable for such a long time but he committed unforgivable sins such as

    a) Mocked Iphone while underestimating its value proposition...bit him big time in the @ss later
    b) Displayed an incredible amount of hubris while showing little amount of innovative products/ideas to back it up
    c) Surface Tablet flop.
    Last edited by HeyCori; 08-26-2013 at 12:05 PM. Reason: language
  15. bryantest's Avatar
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by snowmutt View Post
    There is no way to dance around the subject: Ballmer missed a ton of boats. Let's be clear: He was a software man in a software monolith that knew where the bread was buttered, and in the software world his leadership was pricless. But, he failed to see software was limiting, and failed to see how mobile was going to explode. He was a prisoner of success.

    But, as @iamtim states, the man kicked it into high gear when all was revealed. He went about transforming MS into a services company with a very controlled panic. He got cloud based tools into high gear, he took a Zune that had failed and got the right people in place to transform it into an entertainment service through XBOX, he drug MS into the mobile age, and cut some serious fat out of the grizzled steak MS mangement had become to get decisions and ideas to work across the board. Sure, he was about 3 years too slow, but MS has a true vision for the future.

    There were no scandals, there were no hints of upheavels. He was loyal to his people even as they left for other jobs. There were no mass lay-offs. The man WORKED. He loved his company, and it showed. Some say he was a PR nightmare. I say he was bloody entertaining.

    In other words- MS didn't thrive under him, but this was no Palm, no HP, no RIM, no failure either. Yes, it is time for him to move aside. But MS is in good position for the future. Give the man his due.
    I suppose you have read this:

    Microsoft's Ballmer: Chair-tossing potty-mouth

    Prior to joining Google, I set up a meeting on or about November 11, 2004 with Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer to discuss my planned departure....At some point in the conversation Mr. Ballmer said: "Just tell me it's not Google." I told him it was Google.
    At that point, Mr. Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office. Mr. Ballmer then said: "******* Eric Schmidt is a ******* *****. I'm going to ******* bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to ******* kill Google." ....

    Thereafter, Mr. Ballmer resumed trying to persuade me to stay....Among other things, Mr. Ballmer told me that "Google's not a real company. It's a house of cards."


  16. bryantest's Avatar
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    #16  
    Ballmer forced out after $900M Surface RT debacle - Computerworld

    Steve Ballmer was forced out of his CEO chair by Microsoft's board of directors, who hit the roof when the company took a $900 million write-off to account for an oversupply of the firm's struggling Surface RT tablet, an analyst argued today.

    "He was definitely pushed out by the board," said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, in an interview Friday. "They either drove him out, or put him in a situation where he felt he had to leave to save face."

    The biggest clue that Ballmer was pushed and didn't leave of his own free will was the 12-month timetable Microsoft said it would use to find a CEO successor. "Typically, a board will be working behind the scenes for a replacement, but they've given themselves 12 months," said Moorhead. "I think this went down very quickly."
  17. ItsMrMark's Avatar
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by FinancialP View Post
    He was only bad with PR. Everything else he was good, Microsoft has been the most profitable under is leadership.
    Under Ballmer's 13-year leadership, Microsoft stock has fallen over 40%. What part are you referring to?
  18. FinancialP's Avatar
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    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by ItsMrMark View Post
    Under Ballmer's 13-year leadership, Microsoft stock has fallen over 40%. What part are you referring to?
    The stock price is just market sentiment towards Microsoft. Read the financials and compare it to all the non-Ballmer years, Microsoft has been the most profitable under Ballmer.
    a5cent and Laura Knotek like this.
  19. Chinocop's Avatar
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    #19  
    If they were going to sack him after RT write down, then why didn't they ****can him after aQuantive which was almost 7 times more than RT.
  20. AngryNil's Avatar
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    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by bryantest View Post
    The biggest clue that Ballmer was pushed and didn't leave of his own free will was the 12-month timetable Microsoft said it would use to find a CEO successor. "Typically, a board will be working behind the scenes for a replacement, but they've given themselves 12 months," said Moorhead. "I think this went down very quickly."
    That makes absolutely no sense. Bloody hell, I almost want to get a job as an analyst. Run your mouth without having the slightest clue what you're talking about, get attention and money. But I don't have the stomach to live with the knowledge that the entirety of my life is a sham.
  21. bryantest's Avatar
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    #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by AngryNil View Post
    That makes absolutely no sense. Bloody hell, I almost want to get a job as an analyst. Run your mouth without having the slightest clue what you're talking about, get attention and money. But I don't have the stomach to live with the knowledge that the entirety of my life is a sham.
    So you don't believed Ballmer was not forced out?

    There are other articles out there that all corroborate to what Moorhead is saying:

    That Ballmer was "forced" to retire
  22. bryantest's Avatar
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    #22  
    This Is What Plugged-In People In Silicon Valley Are Whispering About Microsoft's CEO Search (MSFT) - SFGate

    Ballmer didn't know he was going to get canned until the last minute. It was an execution.
  23. JKing106's Avatar
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    #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by FinancialP View Post
    He was only bad with PR. Everything else he was good, Microsoft has been the most profitable under is leadership.
    Thank God he inherited 2 "can't fail" monopolies to fund all the consumer market failures.

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