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Pressure mounts on Ballmer to step down

Gates are open
Fri Jun 16 2006, 15:09
JUST AS Bill Gates readies himself to step down from his Chief Software Architect post at Microsoft, there is talk about Ballmer's future.

First Joel says that Balmer "needs to go", now CNN Money opines that "it's time for CEO Steve Ballmer to set a resignation date, too".

The CNN Money article quotes Rob Enderle, a principle analyst at the Enderle Group, who reckons that Ballmer will not stay as a CEO after Gates steps down from his current post. Two to five years is the time that Ballmer is given.

The article assumes that Balmer has three possible heirs including: COO Kevin Turner, Microsoft's Platform and Services division co-president Kevin Johnson and Consumer and Home Entertainment Products boss Robbie Bach. Obviously, these are all assumptions because, unlike Gates, Ballmer hasn't made any indications as to who his successor could be.

If you cast your mind back to 2003 you may remember that Forbes ran a survey designed to find the CEO with the highest approval rating. Ballmer only scored 31 per cent, behind Carly Fiorina and Larry Ellison. We doubt that his approval improved since then.

Ballmer's job has been difficult. Microsoft's stock has fallen over the past few years and new upstarts such as Google have been successfully applying pressure. And what to say of Microsoft's employees calling for Ballmer to go?

So we'll understand if one day Steve decides to retire. Let's just hope that someone produces another great video before it happens. µ

See Also
Uncle Vista flip-flops towards the grave

CNN Money


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