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

Not too suprising
By Suntan on 10/7/2010 9:53:45 AM , Rating: 5
Hmmm... Show me a single company that can manage to have a high approval rating of the executive staff from people that are *leaving that company.*

Anyway, I’d wager a coke that CEOs in most companies are thought to be inept by at least 40 or 50% of the employees that still happily come in to work every day.

What’s with the Ballmer hate?

If you’re itching to hate on a tech CEO, I say go for Ellison. Come on, just look at him. It’s pretty obvious that the guy bites the heads off of young Dalmatian puppies for sport...


RE: Not too suprising
By mydogfarted on 10/7/2010 10:06:38 AM , Rating: 3
Seriously. How many people have left a job because they thought their boss was an asshole? I can't possibly be the only person.

RE: Not too suprising
By XZerg on 10/7/2010 10:06:51 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Not too suprising
By solarrocker on 10/7/2010 10:07:19 AM , Rating: 2
He looks like house (Hugh Laurie)... somewhat..

Must be the beard.

Also make it a Pepsi and let the wagering commence.

RE: Not too suprising
By sviola on 10/7/2010 10:22:41 AM , Rating: 2
Why not make it a pint of bitter?

RE: Not too suprising
By solarrocker on 10/7/2010 12:07:25 PM , Rating: 1
Pint of Guinness?

RE: Not too suprising
By omnicronx on 10/7/2010 2:40:41 PM , Rating: 3
I completely agree Suntan, did someone actually get paid to perform this study?

RE: Not too suprising
By marvdmartian on 10/7/2010 3:09:48 PM , Rating: 1
So basically, about 50% of the departing employees were willing to come out and say they didn't like him, right?

I'm guessing the other 50% were just a bunch of damn liars!

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM

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