Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Skype's Tony Bates announce the deal in May. is rolling out its annual “Naughty and Nice” list for technology CEOs. And, as it turns out, it looks like some of the biggest names in tech will be getting a big lump of coal in their stockings.

It was an especially tough year for some Seattle tech CEOs.

The approval ratings of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer; founder Jeff Bezos and T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm each declined during 2011, according to a new report from Glassdoor, which tracks employee reviews.

Despite orchestrating the acquisition of Skype and growing Microsoft’s revenue base through products such as Xbox, Ballmer continues to see his numbers drop. The Microsoft CEO’s approval rating fell from 49 percent to 35 percent, putting him near the bottom of the list of tech CEOs in 2011.

Only the CEOs of Yahoo and Xerox fared worse, according to Glassdoor.

Bezos had a big year, pushing the company’s employment base above 50,000 and rolling out the new Kindle Fire. Nonetheless, the approval rating for Bezos — known as a hard-charging manager — dropped from 85 percent to 81 percent.

T-Mobile’s Humm, meanwhile, had the difficult task of leading a company in the middle of a messy merger with AT&T. As a result, Humm’s approval rating nosedived from 70 percent to 57 percent, one of the biggest drops in the list.

The approval rating for Netflix CEO Reed Hastings also took a beating, falling from 79 percent to 61 percent as the founder of the DVD rental service managed the disaster known as Qwikster. (Interestingly, Zillow co-founder Rich Barton is a board member at both Glassdoor and Netflix).

AOL’s Tim Armstrong also saw his approval rating slip, dropping from 71 percent to 55 percent.

Glassdoor also ranked the best places to work in tech, with Facebook, MITRE, Google, Apple and Rackspace leading the pack. Seattle’s Slalom Consulting also made it into the top 10. Here’s its full list of the top 50, including non-tech companies like REI, Costco and Starbucks.

Take a look at the full list of tech CEOs below, and let us know who you think is doing a good or bad job. (The BPTW rank stands for Best Places to Work).

Previously on GeekWire: “Audio: Microsoft’s Ballmer gives a bellowing response to calls for his dismissal”

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  • Guest

    My friend Steve, in a 4,700-word e-mail to me the other day, said that Jeff Bezos “didn’t give a fig whether I had a nice day.” (He used a less glamorous word than “fig,” but I shan’t repeat it.) Because of that, I had no choice but to dock Mr Bezos four points in the survey. I hope he understands and that he compassionises himself accordingly in 2012. His $15 million gift to his alma mater is a good first step toward redemption.

    • Motmaitre


  • Guest

    “We love our strategy. The board loves our strategy”

    – Steve Ballmer

    • Guest

      Clearly the employees love our strategy too, since Microsoft’s score as a company rose one decipoint yoy to 3.4.

      • Guest

        The company score is derived from answers to sixteen questions that mostly relate to internal issues. Only two even relate to senior management and they do that generically. There is no question on strategy. The main question they’re attempting to answer is “Overall, how satisfied are you with Microsoft as a place to work?”
        The CEO score is one specific question that is much more clearly focused on strategy:”Do you approve of the way Steve Ballmer is leading Microsoft?”

        • Guest

          I’d say that people being satisfied at work is an excellent strategy to have. I like that. I bet the Microsoft board likes that too. Heck, even Steve must like that.

          • Guest

            That’s not a strategy. It’s an enabler. But a 65% disapproval rate of the way the CEO is leading the company is clearly incompatible with an excellent strategy.

  • Anonymous

    Somehow I have a feeling they will be OK.
    http://www.Total-Privacy (dot) US

  • Anonymous

    Well at least Pincus beat Samsung?

  • Guest

    Prediction: Ballmer is finally out in 2012. MS stock goes below $20.

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