“According to sources close to the situation, the departure of CEO Steve Ballmer from Microsoft last week was more sudden than was depicted by the company in its announcement that he would be retiring within the next year in a planned smooth transition,” Kara Swisher reports for AllThingsD. “It was neither planned nor as smooth as portrayed.”
“While the decision to go seems to have technically been Ballmer’s, interviews with dozens of people inside and outside the company, including many close to the situation,” Swisher reports, “indicate that he had not aimed to leave this soon and especially after the recent restructuring of the company that he had intensely planned.”
MacDailyNews Take: Since Ballmer previously said he expected to be Microsoft CEO for many more years, it seems obvious that he was pushed out after numerous high profile failures (Zune, Kin, Windows Vista, Xbox Red Ring of Death, Windows 8, Surface, Windows RT, etc.).
Swisher reports, “Interestingly, Ballmer actually indicated that he had planned on staying in his letter about his impending departure, noting: ‘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.'”
“That sentence spurred much chatter inside the company, including the persistent rumor that Gates had dropped the bomb on Ballmer,” Swisher reports. “That sentiment was further underscored when Ballmer’s letter contained no reference or thanks to Gates, with whom he has been tightly tethered over the last several decades. Its absence has been much discussed internally at Microsoft, where it has been seen as an unusual slight and a sign of a rift… ‘Did Gates instigate it? No,’ said one source with knowledge of the situation. ‘But was he as supportive of Ballmer as he had been in the past? Maybe not.'”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last week:
Enough with the “retire” bullshit. Ballmer finally lost Gates’ protection and was pushed out.