Friday, August 23, 2013

More Thoughts On Steve Balmer Leaving Microsoft

This is only a preliminary thought on the news that Steve Balmer will be stepping down as CEO of Microsoft.

  • He screwed up Surface bad and the board wants him gone.  He had number opportunities to compete against the iPhone and Android and he failed to deliver.  With Windows and the PC market in a critical condition and at an inflection point, Windows 8 was worse than Vista ever was.  And Windows Phone is gaining shares but only because Nokia is selling devices at a loss or break-even.
  • I'm excited that Microsoft might bring in someone who will rejuvenate the company and put Apple and Google on notice.  A product guy who gets it.  Not another sales guy like Balmer.  
However, I also wonder if it's too late for Microsoft.  Think Palm.  Dell.  HP.  And now more recently, think Blackberry.  Turning a company around isn't easy.  Having said that, Steve Jobs did.  When he took over at Apple, it was weeks from going bankrupt.  

Microsoft is in an infinitely better shape with billions in the bank and continues to make more money than most governments and companies.  But the new CEO has to play offense, get rid of death weight, and, more importantly, care less about making friends or Wall Street happy and willing to piss people off.

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