Last week we covered the story about Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer announcing his retirement. In that post there was some speculation that the controversial CEO was forced out of his position by members of the board of shareholders. It turns out that was exactly what happened.
According to sources at the company, Ballmer’s departure was a sudden move taken by dissatisfied investors who have been watching his tactics fail with the company.
From what was said, he had originally intended to retire within the next couple of years. But there was no set date, and he had planned to see through the major restructuring occurring at Microsoft. But the nine member board of directors, which includes founder Bill Gates, decided he didn’t need that time and that he should leave much sooner than expected. Namely, as soon as was possible.
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley had an interview with Ballmer himself on the announcement. The CEO is still trying to make it seem as though this was all his decision that he just sort of came to, and that everything was planned and it is a perfectly natural transition. But even the transcript of the interview makes him seem dazed and shocked. It doesn’t look like he had any idea this was coming.
When asked how long he had been planning to leave, he replied:
“I would say for me, yeah, I’ve thought about it for a long time, but the timing became more clear to me over the course of the last few months.
You know, we worked hard. We worked hard on our strategy process, our org process. And frankly I had no time to think about it during all of that…. I would say my thinking has intensified really over the last couple, two, two and a half months, something like that.”
Yes, that was certainly convincing, Mr Ballmer.
All in all, this is a lot less surprising than the idea of him just up and leaving. I meant it in the last post when I said a sudden retirement was out of character. But him being forced out by the board? I think people have been waiting for that to happen since he was first instated as the head honcho.
While he wasn’t a terrible CEO of the company the entire time he held the position, I don’t think anyone can deny that he was no Bill Gates. Fingers crossed that the next Microsoft CEO is more suited for the technology world of today, not 1980.
Source: All Things D