Print 54 comment(s) - last by roadhog1974.. on Oct 12 at 9:58 PM

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 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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

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
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!

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki