Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ballmer on Ballmer: His Exit From Microsoft

The bottom line of Microsoft’s problem and Ballmer’s specifically, was the culture of protecting the strong base of PC based software. Even when changed was demanded by the Board, it was hard for him not to put top proprietary on Windows. Once he realized that speed of implementation as critical, he felt, and I think correctly, he had little credibility with the organization

"Microsoft's culture included corporate silos where colleagues were often pitted against one another—a competitive milieu that spurred innovation during Microsoft's heyday but now sometimes leaves groups focused on their own legacies and bottom lines rather than on the big technology picture and Microsoft as a whole… 
He recalls thinking: "I'll remake my whole playbook. I'll remake my whole brand."The board liked his new plan. But as Mr. Ballmer prepared to implement it, his directors on the January conference call demanded he expedite it…. 
…"But, I didn't want to shift gears until I shipped Windows," Mr. Ballmer says he told the directors on the call (Your company watches what you do, NOT what you say), explaining that he hadn't moved faster in late 2012 because he was focused on releasing in October the next generation of Windows, Microsoft's longtime cash cow."

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