Microsoft pushed Steve Ballmer “damn hard” to resign as CEO as early as possible


It seems as if Steve Ballmer, who has just stepped down as Microsoft’s CEO, decided on this decision after a lot of pushing from his fellow board members to go “faster”.

Ballmer recently gave an exclusive interview to the Wall Street Journal and explained that despite trying to work with the board and trying to find ways to compete with the Android and iPhone markets, his board members thought he just wasn’t going fast enough.

John Thompson, the lead director, confirms that they “didn’t push Steve to step down, but we were pushing him damn hard to go faster.”

The board apparently wants a new direction for Microsoft, one that most likely can compete in the mobile market as well as it does in the computer and gaming ones.

“No matter how fast I want to change, there will be some hesitation from all constituents—employees, directors, investors, partners, vendors, customers, you name it—to believe I’m serious about it, maybe even myself,” said Ballmer. “Maybe I’m an emblem of an old era, and I have to move on … As much as I love everything about what I’m doing, the best way for Microsoft to enter a new era is a new leader who will accelerate change.”

It will be interesting to see who takes Ballmer’s place. There are some interesting rumors in the air of potential candidates like Stephen Elop, who claims he would think about selling their Xbox business as well as getting rid of Bing altogether.

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  • Louis

    [@Coyote] Exactly right !

    They should stick to their 2 core businesses, both of which will still be needed and viable for the foreseeable future, i.e. PC / Laptop OS & Office Applications (not apps here).

    Then they should expand in a parallel system, by adding to their core divisions, new divisions to start developing software and systems in new areas, as in tablets, phablets and cellphones apps etc — put these under new leadership by all means, and see where that takes MS.

    For now, come ‘Cloud’ come rain, we still need to write letters to be printed, we still need to construct spreadsheets, etc, and we still need to do this on a proper keyboard, using our own software on our own workstations. I certainly still need to do, and I’ve got all the other gadgets.

    In time, it will become clear, in an organic way, which divisions are no longer viable, and which are, and some can be phased out in a planned and orderly fashion.

    At this point these remaining will in time become the de facto core business, receiving their turn to face calls to be abolished, since yet new ones will start to challenge these, and these new ones will become the ‘new divisions” to be added, and so the cycle will continue.

    It’s called strategic management, and something MS has seemingly lost. Along with clear vision.

    As you pointed out, if you stab your existing market in the back, in the blind hope you hit the right buttons for an undefined new market, you could find yourself dead in the water.

  • Coyote

    This explains so much about how microsoft has been losing their grip on the market. They want change but don’t want to see if that change is even what people want. They want to go faster, but have no idea how the market will react.