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Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has headed the company for ten years, since taking over from Bill Gates in 2000.   (Source: AP Photo)

Many outgoing Microsoft employees have criticized Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's performance.
Nearly half of the company's employees disapprove of his performance as CEO

Steve Ballmer, 54, forms a unique and controversial figure as chief executive of the world's largest software company.  His cracking, nasal voice brings to mind Chris Farley and his quirky sense of humor only strengthens the comparison.

But at the end of the day Mr. Ballmer means business, and he's been the undisputed leader since Bill Gates departed in January 2000.  Ballmer has led the company through some of its most glorious successes -- Windows XP, the Xbox, and Windows 7 -- but has also been on the helm for some of its less glorious campaigns -- Windows Vista, Windows Mobile, tablet efforts, and Kin.

study by Glassdoor.com shows that the company's above outlined struggles and Mr. Ballmer's strong personality may be outweighing his successes.  The survey of 1,000 departing Microsoft employees found that only a razor-thin 51 percent majority approved of Mr. Ballmer's job performance.

That's number seems more troublesome given that overall the employees were very satisfied with Microsoft -- rating it at 3.5 out of 5, just below the 3.8 out of 5 that Apple and Google both received in similar recent studies.

This year has been a stormy one for Microsoft.  Despite the wild sales success of Windows 7, the company's stock has dropped 20 percent and the company was forced to pull its new Kin phones off the market only weeks after it released them.  The latter failure cost Mr. Ballmer a bit of his yearly bonus.  Mr. Ballmer also drew fire for killing Microsoft's Courier dual-screen tablet concept, which had drawn much excitement.

Some observers say that Microsoft's performance with its new smartphone operating system, Windows Phone 7, and its upcoming tablets may determine Mr. Ballmer's ultimate fate and whether he is suitable to keep leading Microsoft.  A failure in these arenas would be a massive loss for Microsoft, and potentially catastrophic to Mr. Ballmer's career.

Rebecca Wettemann, analyst at Nucleus Research comments, "This is a pretty critical moment for Microsoft, particularly as we see a shift to people wanting access to the information they need from any device.  The winner in this space will be the one that puts a toy in the consumer's hands that is also a good business tool for a worker's hands."

She adds, "[Oracle CEO] Larry [Ellison] has Fusion and [Apple CEO Steve] Jobs has the iPad, but Microsoft has had things in development for a while without being able to get those things to market.  That's the kind of thing that sparks a leadership change."

If Mr. Ballmer has his way he would retire on his own volition at around 2018, according to his past statements.



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so?
By solarrocker on 10/7/2010 9:25:57 AM , Rating: 3
I don't work there and I don't even like him.

"developers,developers,developers!"




RE: so?
By invidious on 10/7/2010 9:40:39 AM , Rating: 1
And you opinion matters even less than the ex-employees referenced in this post, which is already very little to begin with.


RE: so?
By GaryJohnson on 10/7/2010 9:59:39 AM , Rating: 3
Your opinion of his opinion then, by extension of your own logic, also doesn't matter.


RE: so?
By solarrocker on 10/7/2010 10:11:27 AM , Rating: 5
Nothing matters in most posts made lately on DT. Seems to be more that people come to watch the MAC vs PC fights of Tony, Pirks and (MIA) reader1.

An article can go about almost anything non computer related, but as soon as even one person says mac there they are.


RE: so?
By gmyx on 10/7/2010 11:38:24 AM , Rating: 2
reader1 quit DT a couple of months ago in a fiery way. He gave his password away, many post appeared confirming the password. I think his account now is suspended or closed.


RE: so?
By solarrocker on 10/7/2010 11:48:02 AM , Rating: 4
Wow, couldn't we just have given him a spare tinfoil hat?


RE: so?
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/7/2010 1:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
A few others who need to go as well.


RE: so?
By roadhog1974 on 10/12/2010 9:58:20 PM , Rating: 2
Za purity of zis forum must not be contaminated!!!


RE: so?
By inighthawki on 10/7/2010 10:25:49 AM , Rating: 2
but his comment wasn't an opinion about an opinion, it was a logical statement that can be taken as fact, therefore still relevant.


RE: so?
By GaryJohnson on 10/7/2010 10:45:03 AM , Rating: 2
His comment was an opinion as the amount the original poster's or any ex-employee's opinion matters (in any context) can't be proven or tested.


RE: so?
By inighthawki on 10/7/2010 11:19:55 AM , Rating: 2
Actually it's pretty straightforward to make the assumption that if person A knows person B, then their opinion of person B will be of greater value than that of person C who has never met person B, though may have heard of them. The same holds true linearly based on how close the relationship between the two are, thus even if a person working (leaving from) Microsoft may have never MET Ballmer in person, his influence will still play a higher role on the employee's experience and thus will allow that employee's opinion to have a greater weighted opinion of him.

Just as I can form an opinion based on a movie I've never seen based on previews, but it will hold much less weight than a person who has actually seen the movie.

Thus in the end, his comment is in fact a logical statement, and not an opinion.


RE: so?
By bug77 on 10/7/2010 12:55:42 PM , Rating: 3
Solid logic, but the article doesn't say how many (if any) of the former employees knew Balmer personally. Or at least worked directly with him.


RE: so?
By JakLee on 10/7/2010 4:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually it's pretty straightforward to make the assumption that i.... <snip>.... thus will allow that employee's opinion to have a greater weighted opinion of him.


So, after reading all that I couldn't help but think - 7 degrees of Steve Balmer


RE: so?
By curiousgeorgieo on 10/7/2010 2:16:34 PM , Rating: 3
Balmer hates antiperspirant


RE: so?
By mmatis on 10/7/2010 6:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't realize he was French! That explains a lot!


RE: so?
By SmilingMan on 10/7/2010 10:17:09 AM , Rating: 1
Why does his enthusiastic support and cheering of developers upset you so?

The man was emphasising that developers make or break a sovftware platform, and I don't think that's something that makes him worth hating.

One might have a rational arguement about some of his business decisions; I'm not sure that this is a good complaint though.


RE: so?
By ShaolinSoccer on 10/7/2010 1:33:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with you. I can't stand the guy. Ever since the first day I saw him.


RE: so?
By drycrust3 on 10/7/2010 2:42:57 PM , Rating: 3
He probably doesn't care that you dislike him so much when it is highly likely use (love?) his operating system! If you really want to show someone that you don't like them, then don't associate yourself with them: use a non-windows operating system.
Ok, I concede, just I'm guessing that you do use Windows because most of the people on this website seem to, even IT people seem to. Some IT people (or is it "Most IT people"?) even claim every Windows from XP on is vastly superior to a Linux distribution like Ubuntu (which is what I'm currently using).
Sure I miss out on some really excellent stuff, like those screensavers you can buy, and the free malware. I just live with a dull boring computer that just lets me browse and write and do spreadsheets and chat in text and post messages here and has almost nothing to do with Microsoft.
As for Balmer, unlike you I don't have a dislike for him, I think he must be a very clever guy to run a company that thinks the operating system they plan to sell for mobile phones will dominate the market in 10 years time when it isn't even on the market and, as a casual observer from afar, seems to do almost everything his free competitors can do.


RE: so?
By solarrocker on 10/7/2010 4:59:12 PM , Rating: 2
I got a dual boot laptop, windows/linux, and windows 7 desktop. Also my phones run symbian (yes nokia) if that OS also matters to you? Hey I can SSH to my servers with the phone easy enough so why replace it, yes I know android can also but why spend money again on a device that does enough of what I want it to do.

Not sure what you trying to say as I do not buy any screen savers or even have any "Free malware".

Anyway use what works for you, use what works for you. As long as we can watch "pron" it all good.


RE: so?
By kingius on 10/8/2010 8:52:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
yes I know android can also but why spend money again on a device that does enough of what I want it to do.


I like this. Sounds like your becoming a smart consumer. We keep being sold the same thing, over and over again, and like muppets, we buy it.


RE: so?
By JKflipflop98 on 10/10/2010 4:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
"Sure I miss out on some really excellent stuff, like those screensavers you can buy, and the free malware. I just live with a dull boring computer that just lets me browse and write and do spreadsheets and chat in text and post messages here and has almost nothing to do with Microsoft."

Meanwhile my horrible, disgusting, plaugeridden windows machine can play any game under the sun - with the bonus that I don't have to code my own custom drivers for half of my system! Amazing! And it only cost me $100 for the O/S?! What a steal!


RE: so?
By YashBudini on 10/10/2010 9:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"developers,developers,developers!"

"Outsource,outsource,outsource!"

"Mo'money,mo'money,mo'money!"


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