Steve Ballmer is not the right person to be leading the world's largest software company, according to a former Microsoft executive.
This is the opinion of Joachim Kempin, who left the company under a cloud back in 2002. He'd been with Microsoft since 1983, and was senior vice president overseeing Windows sales.
"Is he a great CEO? I don't think so. Microsoft's board is a lame duck board, has been forever. They hire people to help them administer the company, but not to lead the company. That's the problem," Kempin told Reuters, promoting his new book.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO
"They need somebody maybe 35-40 years old, a younger person who understands the Facebook Inc generation and this mobile community. They don't need this guy on stage with this fierce, aggressive look, announcing the next version of Windows and thinking he can score with that."
He also accuses Ballmer of ousting colleagues who could potentially replace him as CEO. Kempin singles out Richard Belluzzo, the man credited with launching the Xbox. Belluzzo rose to the position of chief operating officer, but left after only 14 months in the position due to Ballmer's management style. "He (Belluzzo) had no room to breathe on the top," revealed Kempin. "When you work that directly with Ballmer and Ballmer believes 'maybe this guy could someday take over from me', my God, you will have less air to breathe, that's what it comes down to."
Perhaps most interesting are Kempin's remarks regarding Microsoft's tardiness when it came to embracing new technology. "They missed all the opportunities they were talking about when I was still in the company. Tablets, phones...we had a tablet going, we had tablet software when Windows XP came out, it was never followed up properly," said Kempin.
What does the future hold for the company? Kempin believes that "For Microsoft to really get back in the game seriously, you need a big change in management. As much as I respect Steve Ballmer, he may be part of that in the end."
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Another bitter ex-employee of a company with an axe to grind.
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