Microsoft's Steve Ballmer Reportedly Didn't Plan to Retire So Soon
August 26, 2013 9:52 AM
comment(s) - last by
Sources say he wanted to stay through some of the restructuring process
CEO Steve Ballmer said
retiring was entirely his decision
, others say he was pushed to go sooner than expected.
A new report from
All Things D
said that interviews with sources close to Ballmer and Microsoft revealed that the retirement was planned, but wasn't supposed to happen so soon. Sources said that Ballmer had hoped to stay through at least some of the restructuring that he was planning.
In Ballmer's letter of departure, he said: “My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most.”
Also, when the restructuring was announced in July, Ballmer said: “Lots of change. But in all of this, many key things remains the same. Our incredible people, our spirit, our commitment, our belief in the transformative power of technology — our Microsoft technology — to make the world a better place for billions of people and millions of businesses around the world. It’s why
I come to work inspired every day
. It’s why we’ve evolved before, and why we’re evolving now. Because we’re not done. Let’s go.”
In addition, many suspect that Microsoft Chairman and Co-Founder Bill Gates was in favor of moving Ballmer's retirement to a sooner date. While one source said Gates didn't "instigate" it, he wasn't exactly as supportive of Ballmer as usual.
Ballmer's departure letter didn't make any mention of longtime colleague and friend Gates, which sparked a lot of questions. Gates' statement wasn't exactly a heart-warming goodbye either, leading some to believe that Gates didn't stand up for Ballmer -- and maybe even helped push him out the door along with the rest of Microsoft's board.
Ballmer's attitude even reportedly changed after the retirement announcement. An anonymous source said that Ballmer was jumping into meetings with the same confident attitude as always before the announced retirement, but afterward, he sat uncharacteristically quiet in such meetings.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
There are a few reasons why Ballmer would be pushed out early. For starters, Microsoft is facing an ugly proxy fight with investor ValueAct, which has a large stake in Microsoft and is looking to grab a seat on the company's board. Microsoft is trying to prevent this, but ValueAct has made some demands: Ballmer's retirement, stock buyback and a dividend increase.
Aside from this sort of pressure, Ballmer also faces criticism for decreased performance. Microsoft has had a difficult time stirring up enthusiasm for Windows Phone against competitors like Apple and Samsung, and the Windows maker was late to the tablet game -- releasing its Surface tablet in October 2012 after the iPad had already been out for over two years. To make matters worse, Microsoft's Surface was initially released with the Windows RT operating system (the full Windows 8 Pro-powered Surface wasn't released until February 2013) and it was a major flop. Many say RT isn't a full Windows 8 experience, lacking the ability to run legacy apps.
Windows 8 hasn't exactly had the best reception either, with many complaining that the operating system and its completely revamped Metro UI with live tiles is a better mobile OS rather than desktop. Many want the old desktop and Start menu seen in Windows 7 and previous.
Microsoft also slipped up recently with its Xbox One announcement. The new console, which is expected to be released this fall, initially had a
used games ban
and a new "always-on" digital rights management (DRM) system, which posed a problem for many people who are either in rural areas with slow Internet connections, travelling or tend to experience Internet issues with providers. Microsoft later
retracted these features
after major complaints, but the fiasco still didn't sit well with gamers.
All Things D
added some figures that surely hurt Ballmer's case. The day before Ballmer took over as CEO in 1999, Microsoft’s market capitalization was $600 billion USD. On the day before he announced his retirement, it was under $270 billion USD.
Pushing Ballmer out was likely a decision to meet ValueAct's demands, boost Microsoft's performance and give the company a new leader through the restructuring process. It just seems Ballmer wasn't entirely in on that plan -- at least not this soon.
All Things D
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Market capitalization criticism is sort of unfair
8/27/2013 7:58:50 AM
Well they were right, the internet is just a fad.
"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Steve Ballmer Reflects on Time at Microsoft; Says Windows Vista was Biggest Regret
August 24, 2013, 4:11 PM
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Retire Within a Year
August 23, 2013, 10:00 AM
FTC Will Probe "Patent Troll" Problem, But Won't Sue Anyone
June 20, 2013, 10:03 AM
House Punts on Patent Trolls, Asks FTC to Deal With the Problem
June 7, 2013, 6:54 PM
Quick Note: Samsung's Request to Dismiss Microsoft Lawsuit is Rejected
November 20, 2014, 12:53 PM
Amazon Offers "The Washington Post" Free for Six Months to Kindle Fire Owners
November 20, 2014, 7:41 AM
Apple Watch Screen Resolution, App Limitations are Laid Bare by Developer Kit
November 19, 2014, 11:31 PM
Apple Replaces “FREE” Label with “GET” on App Downloads in iTunes App Store
November 19, 2014, 5:38 PM
Nokia Lumia 635 LTE Windows Phone is Only $40 at Best Buy on Black Friday
November 18, 2014, 11:59 AM
Samsung to Slash Number of Smartphone Models by 30 Percent in 2015, Reduce Costs
November 18, 2014, 10:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Austrian Pilots Call Surface 3 Pro Flight Bag a "Dream Come True"
November 14, 2014, 2:00 PM
U.S. Marshals Using Fake, Airplane-based Cell Towers to Scan Cell Phones of Americans
November 14, 2014, 9:05 AM
Wal-Mart: Miss Thanksgiving, Get Xbox One + Master Chief Collection for $299
November 17, 2014, 9:40 PM
Nokia Explores Two Paths Back to the Smartphone Market
November 14, 2014, 9:05 PM
Microsoft: All* Lumias Will Get Windows 10; Adds Real-Time Battery Live Tile
November 13, 2014, 6:32 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information