Steve Ballmer has announced his retirement. I’ve held back on commenting, so that all the usual suspects could make fools of themselves first…
Am I being nasty? Damned right I am. There are articles out there which are claiming that Steve Ballmer is already gone from Microsoft. Is he? No.
There are also a wide range of articles arguing that he’s to blame for everything from the Common Cold to Psoriasis. Apparently writing for the mainstream media doesn’t require that your IQ be larger than your shoe size. It also doesn’t require any sort of fact checking. Facts? We don’t need no stinking facts!
Let’s look at the email that Steve Ballmer sent to Microsoft employees.
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.
Note that he says within the next 12 months. A lot of ink has been wasted, claiming that Ballmer was pushed out for failing to handle mobile properly. It’s quite possible that the problems with mobile and tablets had an impact on his deciding when to retire.
BUT NO ONE WHO IS PUSHED OUT STICKS AROUND FOR UP TO 12 MONTHS!
Think about it. You have an employee you think is a problem. Are you going to allow him to stay and mess things up further? No, you aren’t. While it is quite possible that certain shareholders aren’t happy with Ballmer’s performance, it can’t be a majority. If it was a majority, Ballmer would have been out the door in seconds.
Ballmer is leaving on his terms. Why not? Forbes says he has 15.2 Billion dollars. Does he really need to work? Does he want to work? With his fortune, he could do just about anything.
Is this going to have an impact on Microsoft? Not immediately. The fools who took part in the stock market run-up wasted their cash. Microsoft will not make any major moves, beyond those already announced, until the new CEO is in office.
In fact by leaving at this time, Ballmer, has committed Microsoft to not making any changes for at least a year. A lot can happen in a year….
Wednesday August 28, 2013