“Wall Street loves a winner, and what happens when one of the most feared companies in the world becomes a limp, lame underdog? Nothing good. And it usually starts with the CEO’s ouster,” Betsy Schiffman blogs for Wired.
“‘This is a company that screwed up a real important product transition, and you’ve got to lay the majority of the blame at the foot of the CEO,’ says Paul Kedrosky, a venture capitalist and blogger,” Schiffman reports. “It was on Ballmer’s watch that Microsoft developed the Windows Vista operating system, arguably one of the most disastrous product releases in the company’s history. From a financial standpoint, Vista has generated billions of dollars in free cash flow, but the product was very late, sales have been disappointing, and it’s unpopular.”
“The operating system took five years to roll out, during which time PC sales growth stalled. And now, nobody really wants Vista, as evidenced by throngs of Windows users’ decision to downgrade to Windows XP,” Schiffman reports. “The Vista release is just the tip of the iceberg. Ballmer’s handling of the $40-plus billion Yahoo takeover was also mismanaged from the very beginning. ‘Ballmer has gone way above the call of duty to screw this up,’ Kedrosky says.
Schiffman reports, “But it’s not just how Microsoft has handled the takeover attempt that has drawn criticism, the reasoning behind the acquisition is equally questionable. ‘It’s pretty much the worst idea ever,’ says Toan Tran, an equity strategist at Morningstar, an investment research firm. ‘MSN basically died on a vine under Microsoft’s bureaucracy. If Microsoft swallows Yahoo, it’s going to die on the vine, too.'”
Schiffman reports, “There are two major reasons for keeping Ballmer around: 1) There isn’t an obvious replacement, and 2) It’s not clear that anyone could get Microsoft out of its current strategic mess. But if we were talking about any other company, Ballmer would have been kicked to the curb already — other CEOs have gotten canned for lesser crimes.”
More in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jean Luc” for the heads up.]
Monkey Boy never should have been made CEO in the first place (fargin’ John Sculley could do a better job). That said, we hope Ballmer stays CEO of Microsoft for as long as it takes.
And now, for your enjoyment, a little video entertainment:
(stick with it, the song and dance number starting at 1:30 is priceless)
Direct video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6rqXHX3O48
There. “Monkey Boy,” “Uncle Fester,” and “Young Frankenstein” (not to mention “Johnny Dangerously”) references all in one Ballmer post.