As new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shakes up the company and gets rid of workers, former CEO Steve Ballmer decides to leave.
Once well-liked and supported, Microsoft’s former CEO Steve Ballmer is now synonymous with some of the company’s biggest cock-ups. During his decade long tenure as CEO, Ballmer made such ill-fated decisions as the multi-billion dollar purchase of Nokia’s devices and services division, which was such an expensive deal that when current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, took over, he announced a plan to get rid of 15% of its global workforce in an attempt to save money and accommodate the thousands of new employees that Nokia brought with it. Ballmer also oversaw the releases of both Windows 8 and Windows Vista, two poorly received operating systems, suggesting that being the 30th ever employee of Microsoft (Ballmer had been working there for 34 years) didn’t necessarily bring with it the knowledge that you’d expect. However, after buying the NBA basketball team, the Los Angeles Clippers, Ballmer is now stepping down from the Microsoft board because he’s simply become too busy.
Owning more Microsoft shares than anyone, Ballmer does still have his best interests at heart though when he told Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella the following in his exit statement,
“Microsoft will need to be bold and make big bets to succeed in this new environment. Our board must also support and encourage that fearlessness for shareholders to get the best performance from Microsoft. You must drive that.”
And in many ways he’s right. Microsoft mostly followed the trend with smartphones, tablets and the aforementioned Windows 8 (which sports a layout designed for those who really like tablets) as they got into the game a little too late to be a dominant force within it. However, they’re placing big money on smartphone partnerships like the recent HTC One (M8) for Windows announcement that gives MIcrosoft’s mobile operating system a real flagship to be trifled with. They’re also driving cloud data, productivity apps and services and even their Xbox brand, which has been treated like the runt of the litter thus far into Nadella’s CEO-ship, has potential. So if Ballmer signals the changing of the guard, we look forward to seeing what the new boys can do next.
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