Ballmer going soon too?

I see Bill Gates has decided to take early retirement – I hope he has a decent pension plan in place 😉

Seriously though, this has to be good news for Microsoft. Ray Ozzie who has been named as his successor (along with Craig Mundie), is someone who has a very good name in the software community and if there is anyone who can help Microsoft shirk the poor corporate image they have, it is Ray.

Owen Thomas reckons that Steve Ballmer can’t be far behind and that:

At this point, Ballmer’s associated more with the hard-charging business tactics that led to Microsoft’s antitrust woes and a low stock price that’s sapping employee morale. Whoever replaces him will have a host of problems to solve – but unlike Ballmer will be able to start with a clean slate.

No Gates and no Ballmer, now that’d be a new Microsoft!

2 thoughts on “Ballmer going soon too?”

  1. No Gates and no Ballmer, now that’d be a new Microsoft!

    No it wouldn’t, as any appointee to the CEO spot is probably going to be exactly what Microsoft doesn’t need, a Gates/Ballmer loyalist and Microsoft lifer. We’ve seen previously how they’ve failed to hold onto external executive level talent, so post-Ballmer we’ll probably see a follow on CEO’s who’ll spend their time executing the previous guy’s strategy instead of coming up with a new one to fit the market of the day. Just like how it was at IBM in the 80’s with it’s massive cashflow, stagnant stock, and limited revenue upside from it’s huge core markets.

    Probably the best victory condition would have been the one which never came off, MS buying SAP AG. If SAP had been acquired then Henning Kagermann could have joined MS as President and COO and reported to Ballmer for a few years before Ballmer took the long walk.

    Kagermann is one of the few executives in the industry who has run a software company with Microsoft sized complexity & revenues, and would have been an ideal candidate to make drastic changes at Microsoft as he’d be unencumbered by the company’s history and “Friends of Bill” political structure.

    It’s going to be tough to get a good CEO for Microsoft post-Ballmer, all the ones who understand how to run that style of business are happily employed at Microsoft’s competitors while it’s Russian roulette to choose someone from outside the IT industry. You could get the next Lou Gerstner, or the next John Scully.

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