Poll: What do you think about Steve Ballmer stepping down?

ballmer-headshot

Steve Ballmer. Photo via Wikipedia

We already know how Wall Street feels about Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s retirement plans. Shares of the company soared more than six percent on the news Friday morning.

But what do you think about the decision?

Certainly, many GeekWire readers have been longing for this day for some time, suggesting that Ballmer has failed to deliver results and missed key trends in the fast-moving tech industry. (Mobile, tablets and software-as-a-service).

Shares of Microsoft are down 40 percent since Ballmer took over the CEO post in January 2000, though they are up about 30 percent so far this year.

Heck, Forbes contributing writer Adam Hartung last year even called Ballmer the worst CEO in America. So, here’s your chance to vote, and voice your opinion.

Meanwhile, Todd Bishop and I spoke about the Ballmer news in this special edition of the GeekWire radio show.

  • Matthew Reynolds

    Frankly, I think that Microsoft’s problem is not Ballmer per se, but that as it’s matured, it’s gotten too many layers of management. As companies grow older, people get promoted, and there’s not enough operations to go around. Layers get deeper, communication to the top levels of responsibility gets muddled, executive accountability becomes amorphous, and people compete internally as opposed to competing externally. With increased authority should also come increased risk for responsibility. If you have total authority for a product, it strategy, and market, and it fails, it is your responsibility, and you should be replaced. Nobody can argue that any product at Microsoft failed due to a lack of resources.

    On the other hand, successful products should be lavishly rewarded, since companies survive based on hits like Kinect and Xbox 360, and failures like Phone and Surface may be technically successful projects, in that they delivered a product, but it wasn’t one that people actually wanted.

    Capable program management is essential to success. Microsoft can deliver just about any product it wants, but the up-front analysis about how to capture the market, what kind of products and services buyers actually want isn’t working. A hard-and-fast analysis of “Should we do this? Can we actually pull customers away from our competitors?” should be adhered to. The economics of software are different from other products, because the switching costs are so high. He who is first often wins, even if their product isn’t the best. Dislodging entrenched competitors (Oracle, Apple, Linux, Apache, Google) is difficult, and takes a long-haul commitment, a clear long-term strategy which is adaptable to market changes, and first-in-class product execution.

  • daisydog555

    I’ll take over, all I need is 1 lump sum payment of $10,000,000. I really hate apple by the way….

    • Slaggggg

      Cool story bro

  • elbowman

    It’s great news for the company. Evidence the immediate rise in stock price after the announcement. No one has confidence in Ballmer.

    The bad news is the result of the happy announcement is we all just made Ballmer over $500million richer. He shouldn’t be rewarded for his performance like that.

  • guest

    It’s about time.