Ballmer should resign, says hedge fund manager

Should Steve Ballmer step down as Microsoft’s CEO? While his tenure continues to see Microsoft rake in billions of dollars in profits every quarter, the company’s share price has been stagnating for some time. Now, Reuters reports that an “influential hedge fund manager” says it’s time for Ballmer to go.

Greenlight Capital President David Einhorn rose to fame after expressing concerns about Lehman Brothers before the bank filed for Chapter 11 back in 2008. He now believes Ballmer is “stuck in the past,” and he’s gone so far as to claim the CEO’s “continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft’s stock.”

Those are tough words. However, Reuters says investors have been making similar comments behind closed doors for years. The pressure on Ballmer seems to be rising… and it’s not too difficult to see why, at least from an investor’s perspective. Reuters points out that, if you bought $100,000 worth of Microsoft stock in 2001, that stock would now be worth all of $69,000. (I don’t think those numbers account for inflation, either.) Other tech giants like IBM, Apple, and Google all managed to grow their stock price over the same time period.

Ballmer has admittedly been in the CEO’s seat since January 2000, which is a pretty long time. I just don’t know if anyone has the sheer charisma to fill his shoes at this point.

Comments closed
    • Frith
    • 11 years ago

    [quote<]You're saying that because Bing and Windows Phone 7 were not immediate, standout successes they must be utter failures?[/quote<] Bing is a re-branding of Live Search, which is a re-branding of Windows Live Search, which is a re-branding of MSN Search. After four attempts, over ten years and countless billions of dollars they've only managed to take 3.92% of the market. "immediate, stand-out success" has nothing to do with it, they've been pumping shareholder's money into this for an eternity and have repeatedly failed. As for Windows Phone 7, the rules of failure are "fail fast, fail early, fail cheap." After the ten handsets they launched failed to sell a well run company would realise that consumers don't want the product and say "What have we done wrong and what should we change?" Microsoft instead say "We need to throw more money at this. Let's pay Nokia a billion dollars to use our operating system". Microsoft should be trying to create a product that consumers want and that sells itself, not trying to use the financial power to try and force an undesirable product on consumers. Trying to force an unwanted product on the market only leads to massive amounts of wasted money. Let's also not forget that Windows Phone is a successor to the failed Windows Mobile. I wonder what Microsoft will re-brand their next mobile operating system as once Windows Phone fails. Their approach of "re-brand and throw money at it" really isn't the hallmark of a well run company. [quote<]The Zune didn't fail because of Microsoft. There is no other MP3 player besides "iPod".[/quote<] So what you're saying the Zune didn't fail because a competitor got to the market years earlier and with a better product? How is that not Microsoft's fault? That's like saying it wasn't GM's fault they were declared bankrupt, it's just that the competitors made better cars. If you can't sell your products but your competitors can then you're obviously doing something very wrong. There's something very wrong with people who fall in love with companies and become totally blind to their failings. You Microsoft fanatics love to rage at the Apple fans but you fail to realise you're just as bad, and in many cases a lot worse. Instead of sticking with one particular brand and backing it like my life depended on it, I personally assess individual products on their merits and buy whichever one I feel is best. You on the other hand would buy a turd in a box if it had a Microsoft logo on it.

    • Bensam123
    • 11 years ago

    A lot of companies are like this. There still seems to be a generation that just wants everything to go static so they can simply keep up with the times and do less work. Hell, most people seem to want to do that (and I catch myself wanting to do that at times too). Sadly, that doesn’t work in the tech industry where everything is moving so ridiculously fast. If you stop, you die.

    The same thing happens in the recent trend in video games as well, except in that case it’s more of a chicken and the egg thing… so it ends up being a lot worse.

    • Sahrin
    • 11 years ago

    Or the Olympics.

    • Price0331
    • 11 years ago

    In regards to silverlight, I guess you have never heard of Netflix?

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    Eloquent.

    • Oldtech
    • 11 years ago

    Or maybe hired as a creative consultant. At least he seem to think outside the box.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    Behind all the censoring, I’m pretty sure you said “you’re so right, mate”.

    • Arag0n
    • 11 years ago

    Not really, they are integrating silverlight in wp7 as main developer language and some developers have shown how nice can look a program developed with silverlight for windows instead of common C#, I think we will see the explosion of silverlight apps for windows 8 with the upcoming windows marketplace.

    But yeah, silverlight didn’t succed in the way they expected, as substitutive for flash.

    • jcw122
    • 11 years ago

    Last time I checked, investors weren’t interested in products, they are interested in profits!

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 11 years ago

    [quote<]why we left DOS at all.[/quote<] You're right. We haven't left DOS. Not with the "search bar" replacing the start menu. It seems that MS has taken to two extremes in their OS, drooling idiots and CLI fogies, and completely left out their original user base. What gets me is the blind ignorance of all the CLI fogies, and how they just ignore how badly MS has screwed the GUI users. How would you like it if MS completely rewrote all your precious CLI commands EVERY OS, or even removed them? I don't think you people would take kindly to that. Stop being so apathetic of how MS is treating the rest of us. MS had a standard GUI from 95 to XP. There is no good reason for these radical changes, which don't even have a proper classic compatibility mode anymore. I stopped using office, and if gets bad enough, I'll stop using the OS too. Wake up MS, you're destroying your product and your business.

    • pdjblum
    • 11 years ago

    Maybe he needs to step up.

    • David
    • 11 years ago

    You’re saying that because Bing and Windows Phone 7 were not immediate, standout successes they must be utter failures?

    Whether the Xbox360 was a financial success or not, it’s created a very large fan base that will likely be happy to pick up the next system.

    The Zune didn’t fail because of Microsoft. There is no other MP3 player besides “iPod”.

    Silverlight? Yeah…that was a money sink.

    • Sahrin
    • 11 years ago

    “Almost everything MS has gotten into out of their core has been a money sink.”

    Everything MS does to date was at one point not their core business – MS was founded as an outfit that sold a version of BASIC to MITS.

    It would probably surprise you to find out just how long it took MS to develop their various extremely profitable units. The OS unit, for example, didn’t exist until 7 years after the company was founded. That’s not wildly longer than the Xbox has existed.

    The problem of the masses is that they regard ‘the way things are’ as a persistent state. Everything that is as it is today was at one point not like that; and business is no different. MS believes that they can revolutionize the markets they are entering; what’s interesting to me is not that they fail (eg cancel Kin) but that the markets they are in haven’t really changed from the day MS decided they would compete in them – meaning that although they may make a mistake; they don’t ignore their mistakes, and they don’t give up. I’d say that’s a good start as far as strategy goes.

    • hiro_pro
    • 11 years ago

    i have seen hotmail accounts fail more than any other type provider. it is a dinosaur much like AOL. i would love to see the breakdown of hotmail accounts by age. i know with that of my company’s 40,000 + clients most (the ones communicating by email) are moving to gmail. the number of students is much higher. try using google chat and tell there is a more efficient chat client for the masses. how is that windows phone holding up to android? oh yeah, it failed! how many hotmail accounts were opened this year?… crickets…

    (#55 Frith) is right. MS has some success. UNTIL you look at what they invested in a product relative to return.

    name one new or innovative product MS has successfully brought to the table in the last ten years? and no, a new version of windows or office do not count. even IE9 looks more like chrome…

    • ronch
    • 11 years ago

    Go watch Pirates of Silicon Valley.

    • ronch
    • 11 years ago

    Not to praise Ballmer, but I think he’s done pretty much any other CEO would’ve done for MicroSoft. What would Einhorn have done if HE were MS’s CEO anyway?

    • mcnabney
    • 11 years ago

    MS can’t compete in the non-core businesses without using the core business monopolies to their advantage.

    X-box wouldn’t have succeeded without the raping/pillaging of PC gaming.

    • mcnabney
    • 11 years ago

    You are looking at the industry, not the key players.

    Pets.com and their ilk went from a whole lot to zero. Just look at the major players. Apple, IBM, HP.

    ten years ago to today
    Apple 15 to 350
    IBM ~100 to 170
    HP ~25 to ~40
    Oracle ~20 to 35
    Cisco about the same, but they just dropped a bunch

    • Thresher
    • 11 years ago

    The difference here between Jobs and Ballmer is that Jobs is a successful jerk. Ballmer is just a jerk.

    • Thresher
    • 11 years ago

    One of the best things they could do is divest anything not directly related to their core businesses. Microsoft has been a “me too” player for too long in too many markets.

    Strip it down to OSes, Office Products, and Programming languages/support. Divest itself of Bing, XBox, Zune, and all the other markets that MS felt it needed to get some sort of presence in. Perhaps just split the company in two, one for the core businesses, one for the non-core businesses.

    Almost everything MS has gotten into out of their core has been a money sink. While profits on OS, Office, and Programming may not get the huge bucks, they are constant and they are almost consistently profitable, barring any monumental screwups (like Win Vista).

    • Farting Bob
    • 11 years ago

    by hotmail do you mean the second biggest email provider around, and one of the widely known internet brands ever? Yea what a complete failure that was!

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 11 years ago

    I can’t give you enough thumbs up. You sir, win the internets. Microsoft needs to hire you ASAP and have you create the gui for W8. That’s the only way I’m going to buy another POS OS from them.

    Edit: The last good version of office was Office 2000, and after that it’s gone downhill. I haven’t bought MS Office since. It’s OO for me now. At least if I don’t like it, I don’t have to pay for it. And if I do pay for it, I could request features, unlike Microsoft who removes features.

    • Frith
    • 11 years ago

    Firstly, I prefer menus because they:

    1) Allow me to quickly read what functionality a program has to offer. Menus of text are far easier to interpret than a load of stupid pictures, which makes makes it much easier to rapidly become proficient with a new piece of software.

    2) Provide a consistent user interfacer between applications. The ribbon is different in every application you use, but with a menu bar you can generally guess where functionality will be even if you’re not familiar with the particular application you’re using.

    3) Are less wasteful of screen real estate. This is particularly important now that many PCs ship with a 16:9 monitors, since a menu bar will use only few vertical pixels while a ribbon uses a massive amount of space.

    Overall, menus are more intuitive, more consistent and less wasteful. Microsoft still use the traditional user interface elements of menus, toolbars and dialog boxes in Visual Studio 2010, which is obviously an application aimed at more experienced computer users. This is essentially an admission that for more technical computer users these UI elements are more effective and efficient. The ribbon is simply another method of dumbing down to avoid confusing novice (stupid?) computer users. Once again, I don’t want my PC simplified; I want it to offer me efficient access to all functionality.

    Of course, it wouldn’t take much in term of financial and human resources for Microsoft to maintain both user interface designs and provide an option so that the user can select which one they want to use. However, this is another problem with Microsoft; they aren’t interested in giving the user what they want and instead want to dictate to the user how they should use their computer.

    Secondly, if you talk to any experienced Linux user they will sing the praises of the command line and say how it allows them to get things done much faster. For example, how do you install Firefox?

    1) Start IE
    2) Either do a Google search for Firefox and click on the link or type [url<]http://www.firefox.com[/url<] 3) Locate the download link appropriate to your operating system 4) Choose where to save the file and click download 5) Locate the file you just downloaded and double click on it 6) Click next, next, next, next, next, next and click finish. How do you do it on a Linux rpm distribution (assuming it's not already installed): 1) yum install -y firefox Job done. Which seems better to you? The fact is the CLI is an extremely effective method of interacting with your computer and your comment displays your ignorance. Clearly it's for people like you that Microsoft have had to add lots of big pretty pictures, because you obviously find words too hard to deal with. Edit: I got a bit personal at the end there. Sorry about that. I get a rather passionate on this subject because the dumbing down of software is becoming an epidemic and Windows is slowly being reduced to the level of a tablet operating system. As a result, using a computer is becoming extremely irritating and frankly rather depressing. I also feel that Microsoft are shooting themselves in the foot with their excessive simplification, because once Windows reaches the simplicity of a tablet operating system what reason is there for people to continue using Windows? They may as well just switch to one of the far cheaper tablet operating system.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    flip was referencing Ace Ventura.

    • vipw
    • 11 years ago

    I thought you were wrong so I checked an index of technology stocks. You’re totally right.
    [url<]http://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=INDEXDJX:DJUSTC[/url<]

    • vipw
    • 11 years ago

    MSFT price in 2001 was double what you think it was. Historic price charts take into account the split and change the earlier prices accordingly.

    Also you’re ignoring dividend, which MSFT pays. I think the standard practice is to treat dividends as if they’re re-invested when doing such analysis.

    • moog
    • 11 years ago

    We could be covering Phone7 Mango rather than wasting our time with what a hedge fund manager thinks. I don’t see how this piece is important or even relevant to tech.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    [quote<]mess things up completely with crap like the ribbon (for people who can't read words and need big pictures)[/quote<] You're right, who even needs pictures? I can't think of a single reason why we left DOS at all.

    • Frith
    • 11 years ago

    So you’re saying Ballmer is doing a great job and you’re backing it up by listing a load of failed products.

    Bing
    Has had $15billion pumped into it and continues to lose huge amounts money. Despite this massive investment Microsoft have only managed to grab 3.92% of the search market (less than Baidu):
    [url<]http://marketshare.hitslink.com/search-engine-market-share.aspx?spider=1&qprid=4[/url<] Conclusion: Total failure. Windows Phone 7 Microsoft spent $500million on marketing to sell 2million Windows Phone 7 licenses. That's $250 marketing per license sold and that doesn't even include development costs, which were probably massive. LG said they have been disappointed with Windows Phone 7 sales and Dell have bailed out completely. It's abundantly clear to nobody wants Windows Phone 7 but Microsoft seem intent on burning through yet more cash to try and sell it. Conclusion: Total failure. Silverlight This was supposed to be a competitor to Flash but now nobody (including Microsoft) knows what it is now. They were so unsure what it was they were considering cancelling it and there were a lot of rumours that Silverlight 4 would never come out. However, it seems they decided to continue development in the hopes of finding some use for it. They're now using it for Windows Phone 7 application development, seemingly in an attempt to get some value out of their substantial investment. Conclusion: What is this? I don't even... Xbox The original Xbox lost $5.5billion and the 360 was the least reliable piece of consumer electronics in history, also leading to considerable losses. Many fans of the console seem to think the 360 has been a success, but investors look at the financials. They look at Nintendo selling many times more consoles than Microsoft and making a profit on every console sell, then they look at the Xbox''s massive losses and much smaller sales numbers and are left wondering what Microsoft are doing in the consumer electronics market at all. There have been repeated demands made by investors for Microsoft to pull out of consumer electronics due to their repeated failures with Zune and the Xbox project, but they just keep burning through more cash. Conclusion: Total failure (though in fairness Kinect has been a big success) Windows 7 Microsoft has an operating system monopoly and zero commercial competition. You can't legally install MacOS on your PC and have to buy expensive Apple hardware in order to use it, so MacOS isn't a direct competitor. With no competition at all Windows 7 can't fail financially. As a product it's a pile of shit. The problem with Windows 7 is this: [url<]http://i51.tinypic.com/eaktpy.jpg[/url<] I don't want my PC simplified! I don't want a dumbed down interface with all the options hidden away. I don't want crap like libraries for people too stupid to know where they put their files. I want a fast operating system with an effective and efficient interface that gives me rapid access to all the functionality, much like Windows 2000 offered. Frankly, if you find the features of Windows 7 beneficial you probably shouldn't be using a computer in the first place and should stick to flipping burgers. Microsoft are simply living off their Windows and Office monopolies and everything else they do loses money. For the profits they make Microsoft are completely undervalued, but this is because investors have absolutely zero confidence in the company. Microsoft fails in every market except the ones were it already has a monopoly, and even then it manages to mess things up completely with crap like the ribbon (for people who can't read words and need big pictures). Edit: I wrote that at 6:00am and just read through it now to find it was full of mistakes. Fixed a few things because it made me look like an idiot.

    • Arag0n
    • 11 years ago

    The best MS products came this last years:

    Windows 7, Windows Phone 7, Silverlight, Bing, Azure, Xbox….

    I think that Ballmer made a change in the direction of MS that started to payback this last 2 years specially but started with the XBOX.

    I’m not saying that everything it’s thanks to him, it could be that it’s despite of him. But, I sincerly think that MS today it’s stronger than 10 years ago. 10 years ago Office and Windows were the only brands making money. Nowadays, microsoft has several business branchs and most of them are profitable (missing bing and wp7). Nowadays, it’s harder that microsoft disappears by a change on trends than 10 years ago. It’s not a risk anymore for microsoft that macs become the defacto standart since their Office products would keep being strong and Xbox also.

    I’m happy to see and feel that neither Microsoft, neither Apple or Google, seems to be out of the market in the future. In fact, i’m more worried about apple and google. Since apple relies exclusively in the iPhone and iOS for their future and Google still only makes profit from online advertisement.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 11 years ago

    Why not? It’s been said Jobs is the lifeblood of Apple, and without him Apple would fail. I say Microsoft isn’t much different, except it’s big enough that the departure of a rockstar CEO isn’t catastrophic.

    Or perhaps Microsoft’s problem isn’t the loss of Bill Gates, but more of Steve Ballmer is an insane little monkey boy, and should be shitcanned like immediately.

    • Sahrin
    • 11 years ago

    mmm…I disagree. Fiorina’s strategy was about growing HP’s consumer PC business, hence the Compaq acquisition. Her strategy was about Dell. Hurd’s strategy was about Enterprise, and the several (much smaller) acquisitions HP made under him furthered that. His strategy was about IBM.

    Very different approaches; but I also agree that their management styles were entirely different. Carly was about being a rock star, a dot-com-bubble CEO, Hurd was post-dot-com; very professional and reserved (except when it came to expense accounts, apparently).

    • Sahrin
    • 11 years ago

    It’s just you.

    • Code:[M]ayhem
    • 11 years ago

    No, just a blithering idiot.

    • sweatshopking
    • 11 years ago

    hahahahahahhahaahahahahahahhaah you’re hilarious. i LOVE people who think they know what they’re talking about.

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 11 years ago

    This little thread contains a breath-taking amount of ignorance / misrepresentation of what hedge funds are about, what “speculation” is, and exaggeration of the effects of “speculation”, not to mention the simply ludicrous linkage to world poverty.

    The comments that imply that speculation/trading only drives prices upwards is laughable. The comments that suggest that trading without any intention of taking physical delivery is “bad” is just ignorant; have you even heard of risk management?

    And no, I don’t work for a hedge or any other type of fund.

    Not to say that all funds are choir boys, or that some speculation doesn’t have some very [b<]short-term[/b<] effects. But you guys really need to understand the role of prices, price discovery and risk management in markets, which includes the "evil" of "trading" and "speculation".

    • Chun¢
    • 11 years ago

    Right of Eminent Domain? 5ht Amendment? I don’t understand how its being broken here.

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    [quote<]Reuters points out that, if you bought $100,000 worth of Microsoft stock in 2001, that stock would now be worth all of $69,000.[/quote<] I can't make those numbers work even [i<]with[/i<] inflation. Microsoft's highest price in 2001 was just under $37, so $100k would have bought around 2700 shares. In 2003, there was a 2:1 split. The current price today was around $24. 5400 shares at $24 is $129,600, which dials back to $105,000 in CPI-adjusted dollars.

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    The oil example is a bad one because that is the [i<]spot market[/i<] price if you want to grab a barrel of oil today. Large consumers, however, operate on longer-term supply contracts. The speculative price can certainly drive the strange price fluctuations at the gas pump because of the convoluted nature of how gasoline is purchased and sold in the US, but speculative price does not control the contract prices paid by the majority of consumers. If the speculative market stays high for a while and the long-term contracts also rise, then the speculators have correctly identified a change in the fundamentals of the market. If the speculators are wrong, the spot market price will fluctuate for short periods, but the contract prices will be stable. It's somewhat like buying a magazine subscription versus buying a copy at the newsstand. The subscriber is a long-term, reliable purchaser and gets different contract options than the person who wants to buy it at the airport gift shop with no further commitment, and correspondingly pays the full cover price.

    • nanoflower
    • 11 years ago

    The problem with speculation is there are too many people involved that have no connection with the actual commodities. People are buying commodities that they never EVER intend to take possession of since their sole intention is to sale the commodity for a profit. Not a bad idea but it ends up driving up the price with no real benefit. By increasing the requirements for speculators to put in more money when purchasing commodities it would cut down on some of the speculation done just to make a profit while allowing the people that buy commodities to even out their costs (like airlines buying fuel months in advance of delivery to maintain a stable price.)

    As for Ballmer it does seem like he needs to go, but only after they have found a candidate or a set of candidates that can actually drive the company to innovate and alleviate some of the in-fighting. I don’t know that there is such a candidate available at this time.

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Fiorina and Hurd both steered HP toward the same destination but Fiorina was a flamboyant party animal while Hurd was a business professional. The latter worked within the context of HP’s corporate culture, the former didn’t.

    Having the right overall strategy isn’t the only factor in being a good CEO.

    • Kamisaki
    • 11 years ago

    Ha! You beat me to it! I have no idea what flip-mode was actually referring to, but the Trogdor song was the first thing that popped into my head.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 11 years ago

    That’s the thinnest so called justification I can see. Buy, hack, slash is not a vision. Sometimes it’s a necessary byproduct, but it isn’t a vision in and of itself.

    HP (and Compaq) had been a tech giant. Now they’re mostly a glorified pc builder with added value.

    Until Hurd, and the Palm buy their relevance had been slipping something fierce.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    [url<]http://www.livemint.com/2008/05/14234650/Eight-years-and-14-billion-la.html[/url<]

    • axeman
    • 11 years ago

    Yes, but it doesn’t seem like he’s too interested in technology any more. He’s busy trying to cure polio. Or wipe it out with vaccines more accurately. O_o. But good on him.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    You kind of have to be in order to be successful. Not too many successful nice guys. OTOH, there are plenty of guys like Ballmer, Jobs, Kotick…the list goes on and on.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    It’s not anything new. The Foundation was created in 1994.

    • ShadowTiger
    • 11 years ago

    Is it just me or does Steve Ballmer seem like a jerk?

    • pot
    • 11 years ago

    She was a horrible CEO, look into it.

    • hiro_pro
    • 11 years ago

    speaking of projects MS ran into the ground:

    MS Reader (.lit)
    Zune
    Windows Mobile (the old PDA’s that were out long before iPhones)
    MSN, Hotmail, etc…

    i know there are a ton of companies MS bought then killed without ever releasing a product.

    • pot
    • 11 years ago

    Oh great, the guy who thinks he is smart by using the word collectivist. Speculators DO cause a rise in prices. Even the big oil companies admitted oil should be $60-70 a barrel if there was no speculation. And you are clouding the issue by mixing legtimate reasons for speculation (airlines) with Wall Street banksters who have no legitimate reason.

    Please tell me how the guy speculating is blameless but the politician who knows nothing about speculation and isn’t involved in it is to blame? You have that slave mentality that Wall Street banksters love. You will blame the blameless for everything while deflecting from the guy doing the crime. Are you a college freshmen who read Ayn Rand over the summer and just finished Econ 101a?

    Or do you have some other excuse?

    • pot
    • 11 years ago

    Nothing would be done, he’d be too busy flip flopping his plans every other week. He was for it before he was against it.

    • pot
    • 11 years ago

    And who is this anonymous guy and why do we care?

    • tay
    • 11 years ago

    You’re a fucking cuntbuiscuit. Fuck off.

    • chuckula
    • 11 years ago

    Einhorn was man,
    No he was a Dragon Man,
    Or.. maybe he was just a Dragon,
    but he was still EINHORN!!! EINHORN!!!

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    [i<]Your *gun* is sticking into my hip.[/i<]

    • Ragnar Dan
    • 11 years ago

    That’s certainly what the collectivist pols would have you believe. But it is they, and they alone, who cause price rises, and privation. Speculation enlarges markets for commodities, making prices more predictable over longer periods of time, making it possible for producers and customers alike to plan for the long term, allowing more to be available for lower costs. Without them, price swings would be a constant feature of existence, productivity increases would be a great deal slower, and economic downturns would occur more often.

    Intervention in markets by politicians interested in power, which is to say violation of the rule of law*, is where the problem lies.

    * [i<]And no, the rule of law does not mean merely that a law is what rules, though even that is being violated now in the U.S., it means property rights protection is the main legitimate function of government, and any act violating absolute respect for property is generally illegitimate.[/i<]

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 11 years ago

    A LOT of people say Balmer should step down because MS needs to be led by someone with a creativity/innovation-focus, not business-focus. This helps explain the crazy levels of bureaucracy that have permeated MS. The whole Kin debacle should highlight that. That they could go all the way to product release, then have one team undermine another team to protect the other team’s baby (yet still release the product) is really very sad.

    They have way too many managers and vp’s. Not enough real movers. Everyone who had creative contact with successful products of the past seems to be leaving MS every other month. I think the company internally knows they’re on the Titanic and it’s slowly, so very slowly, going down because it’s hole while seemingly irreparable is still only just enough to take the whole thing down. MS is being propped up by Windows and Office. If those two go, the whole company will start losing money really quickly.

    It’s unclear who could right this. Bill Gates will not come back. Other than him, who would show up and have both the clout and the charisma to sell outsiders and insiders on the big changes needed to right the ship?

    • xtalentx
    • 11 years ago

    Einhorn is Finkle! Finkle is Einhorn! Einhorn is a man!

    • koziolek-matolek
    • 11 years ago

    Hedge funds = damn speculators = those responsible for bubbles, economy collapses, fuel and food price spike (people dying from hunger)….
    The word would be a better place if they all were hanged.
    Now that f*g leech thinks he has a say on who should be a CEO and who shouldn’t.
    Pathetic.

    • esterhasz
    • 11 years ago

    Actually, if you take 2000 as the comparison point, very few have reached the same stock value.

    • mutarasector
    • 11 years ago

    I’d be up for that. Or if Mitt Romney loses his bid, he’d be an interesting CEO.

    • anotherengineer
    • 11 years ago

    ‘Hedge fund manager’

    I think he should go and get a real job. Be funny if someone told him he should resign.

    As for Ballmer, well MS is MS, you could put a monkey there and it would still make money due to the monopoly.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    Both of those products make more money year over year than they ever have.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    He was philanthropic long before he departed Microsoft.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 11 years ago

    since his philanthropic turn I’d be quite interested to see him come back with his newfound perspective.

    • NeelyCam
    • 11 years ago

    How about Bill Gates?

    • demani
    • 11 years ago

    I dunno: HP is up 10% over that span, Apple is of course ridiculously up, and companies like Dell and AOL are down, and generally regarded to be the result of poor management. Most of the bubble companies are gone at this point, and the ones that are still around like Amazon are doing well.

    It does seem ironic though that the court-mandated split that they fought so hard to reverse might actually have been good for the company and the investors. I still think the splits could hppen without it being too disruptive, and allowing the divisions to spread their wings without worrying about divisional rivalries or dependencies: split off Office group to its own and watch it morph once its not trying to push the OS group’s latest advances or the internet group’s latest buzzword. The phone groups could could really innovate, rather than just move along, and the consumer products group could actually try releasing something cool (like the Courier). I’m all for it.

    • BiffStroganoffsky
    • 11 years ago

    I was thinking more Mark Hurd as he was more technology and people minded than acquisition oriented Fiorina.

    • flip-mode
    • 11 years ago

    Einhorn is a man? Einhorn is a man!

    • mcnabney
    • 11 years ago

    Most major IT companies have more than recovered since the tech bubble collapsed a decade ago. Once the likes of Pets.com and other hare-brained ideas were shaken out, the sector has done fine.

    Microsoft is languishing because they get almost every dollar of earnings from Windows and Office. Those monopolies are in decline, and with them Microsoft’s prospects.

    • NeXus 6
    • 11 years ago

    Have you seen him lately? He’s too close to dying.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    No.

    • esterhasz
    • 11 years ago

    It’s not really super important but that $100K => $69K is a bit misleading because:
    a) most IT companies had higher stock values in 2001 than now, that’s why it was called a “bubble”
    b) those $100K in stock should have gotten you around $20K in dividends…

    That said, Ballmer should most definitely resign.

    • Oldtech
    • 11 years ago

    How about Steve Jobs as the new CEO?

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    She wasn’t a bad CEO. Look into it. Hate=fear, yo.

    • Malphas
    • 11 years ago

    I wouldn’t mind some of the pills Steve Ballmer takes.

    • srg86
    • 11 years ago

    Last I read she was spotted at AMD’s offices (though that was on SemiAccurate, so pinch of salt at the ready)

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    [quote<]hedge fun manager[/quote<] Cyril, is "hedge fun" a euphemism for something naughty? You know something that we don't. 😉

    • Peldor
    • 11 years ago

    Fiorina? Wow, that’s some serious hate you’ve got for MS!

    • Corrado
    • 11 years ago

    As a side note, my wife made me go see Bride’s Maids last night, and there is a cameo by Bill Gates in it. Looks like he’s keeping busy somehow.

    • riviera74
    • 11 years ago

    Which one?

    Honestly, Ballmer is a problem only because MSFT is simply too big to grow the stock price. If the firm would spin off certain divisions and become more focused, that would help immensely. Ballmer will NOT do this. It really is time for a real change.

    Ballmer dates back to 1980. A lot has changed since then and he is simply not visionary enough (or successful enough) to get MSFT rolling in this decade or the next one. No, Bill Gates is NOT coming back.

    • BiffStroganoffsky
    • 11 years ago

    Is the ex-CEO for HP available?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!