Microsoft upgrading from Ballmer 1.0 to Ballmer 2.0, in about a year
Last Updated on Friday, 23 August 2013 12:26 Written by admin Friday, 23 August 2013 12:26
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer, will only be using his current title for the next 12 months or so. Plans of his retirement were made public today, fueling a small company stock boost. Say what you will, but that’s got to hurt, although I’m sure that Ballmer can take a pounding.
The Microsoft board is tasked with finding Ballmer 2.0, while the previous version is transitioning out of the company. But will the next CEO be an upgrade or a downgrade? Ballmer 1.0 says it’s the right time to move on. It might not be the perfect time, but it’s the right time. THE. RIGHT. TIME. Is it?
I’m afraid that Ballmer is simply a scapegoat of sorts. The WORLD has been crying for a change in Microsoft’s strategy and focus, and Ballmer was an easy target when it came to throwing blame around on why the Redmond company failed to be a leader in search, tablets, mobile, social…
But Ballmer was never a visionary. He is the guy who wanted the DVD writer instead of the thin design. He is the guy who wanted a keyboard on his mobile phone. He is the guy that wanted Windows to continue powering the world. He simply lacked the vision it took to understand that sometime you have to forget everything you know, throw all the models that produced piles and piles of billions of $, to take a step back, just to be able to leap forward, and to push the entire IT industry along the way.
And when you blame Ballmer for lack of vision is like blaming Steve Jobs for not making affordable, and design-compromising, one-size-fits-all products. It’s pure nonsense. It’s really not his fault. This doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a great CEO. Not by a long shot.
Personally, I think that it’s a mistake to have Ballmer step down, and I don’t buy the fact that it was his idea. What should have happened is restricting his control on Microsoft’s strategy birthed by a true visionary, say like… now what’s his name… Ray Ozzie.
It’s funny to me to recall a time when Ozzie was pushing hard to get Microsoft into the Cloud. And really funny, to have Ballmer talk about Microsoft becoming a devices and services company.
If you want to blame Ballmer for something, blame him for being the poster child for the PC guy. The anti-Apple epitome. The Steve without the Jobs.
I am writing to let you know that I will retire as CEO of Microsoft within the next 12 months, after a successor is chosen. There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. 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. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction. You can read the press release on Microsoft News Center.
This is a time of important transformation for Microsoft. Our new Senior Leadership team is amazing. The strategy we have generated is first class. Our new organization, which is centered on functions and engineering areas, is right for the opportunities and challenges ahead.
Microsoft is an amazing place. I love this company. I love the way we helped invent and popularize computing and the PC. I love the bigness and boldness of our bets. I love our people and their talent and our willingness to accept and embrace their range of capabilities, including their quirks. I love the way we embrace and work with other companies to change the world and succeed together. I love the breadth and diversity of our customers, from consumer to enterprise, across industries, countries, and people of all backgrounds and age groups.
I am proud of what we have achieved. We have grown from $7.5 million to nearly $78 billion since I joined Microsoft, and we have grown from employing just over 30 people to almost 100,000. I feel good about playing a role in that success and having committed 100 percent emotionally all the way. We have more than 1 billion users and earn a great profit for our shareholders. We have delivered more profit and cash return to shareholders than virtually any other company in history.
I am excited by our mission of empowering the world and believe in our future success. I cherish my Microsoft ownership, and look forward to continuing as one of Microsoft’s largest owners.
This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the company I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most.
Microsoft has all its best days ahead. Know you are part of the best team in the industry and have the right technology assets. We cannot and will not miss a beat in these transitions. I am focused and driving hard and know I can count on all of you to do the same. Let’s do ourselves proud.