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Newsletter Issue #717: The Microsoft Death Watch: One Down!

It’s certainly true that outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had plenty of confidence. Sometimes too much confidence, they say, as he could be somewhat overbearing; well, maybe not somewhat. But he certainly hung around Redmond for a long time, having joined the company run by his pal Bill Gates in 1980 in a sales capacity.

In 2000, he replaced Gates as CEO, while Gates remained as Chairman. Since then, Ballmer’s tenure has been mixed, and in recent years it’s become clear he’s been looking in the wrong direction to remake the company.

It’s telling that Wall Street quickly betrayed its lack of confidence in Ballmer. Within minutes after his impending departure was announced, the stock went up at a much faster rate than usual. That doesn’t say a lot about Ballmer’s ability to handle the job, though it’s also true that the stock price increase, if it holds up, ended up increasing his personal fortune by over a billion dollars. So there’s no reason to feel said that he’s going to soon be out of a job.

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