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Posts Tagged ‘ Steve Ballmer ’

Meet the next CEO of Microsoft: Bill Gates

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Gates blur

There are not many people who step down from a major role to spend more time with a company. But then Bill Gates is, or was, no ordinary company chairman.

Many commentators claim that by resigning as chairman, Gates has given the new CEO, Satya Nadella, more room to breathe. I’m not buying that. If Gates truly wanted to give Nadella the space to reorganise Microsoft free from interference, he could have taken a non-executive role on the board and gone to spend more time with his charity.

Instead, I suspect Gates is positioning himself for a Jobs-like second coming.


Steve Ballmer returns to CES, but should he have stayed away?

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013


With the return of a prodigal CEO, a Nascar winner, Star Trek actress, a Hollywood director, a pop band, and a very large, yellow bird, this year’s opening keynote for CES was certainly exciting — but whether it’s good news for anyone involved is a different matter.

This year marked the first opening keynote at the Las Vegas tech show to not feature either Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer, after Microsoft pulled out of the top slot. When Qualcomm’s CEO Dr Paul Jacobs was revealed as the replacement, Ballmer must have felt pretty smug; Dr Jacobs is certainly an accomplished man, and his firm has been exceptionally successful with mobile chips, but Qualcomm is hardly A-List in terms of tech celebrity.


Inside Steve Ballmer’s inbox

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Steve Ballmer pointing

Few people will ever know what it’s like to run one of the world’s biggest companies, but for the past few months I’ve had the briefest of glimpses of what it’s like to read the top man’s emails.

No, this isn’t another case of journalists hacking email accounts. As regular PC Pro readers may remember, when Microsoft launched its webmail service a few months ago, I jumped in and quickly grabbed the address that Microsoft had somewhat carelessly left vacant.


Sinofsky and the power vacuum inside Microsoft

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Steven Sinofsky

Ray Ozzie, Jeff Raikes, Robbie Bach, J Allard and now – most surprisingly of all – Steven Sinofsky: the list of internal candidates to succeed Steve Ballmer has been crossed off, one by one.

This morning, despite years of rumblings of discontent from investors about Ballmer’s leadership, the Microsoft CEO has probably never been more secure. With Ballmer having seen off all the likely internal contenders to his throne, the Microsoft board must either continue to stand by their man or appoint externally.


Has Ballmer lost the dressing room?

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Steve Ballmer stage

There are six words a football manager never wants to read about himself in a newspaper: “he has lost the dressing room”. Reports of mutiny in the ranks are almost inevitably followed days later with another six-word epitaph: “spending more time with his family”.

Will Steve Ballmer’s three kids soon have more quality time to spend with their dad? Judging by the reaction to last week’s annual employees’ meeting at Microsoft, it’s looking increasingly likely.

The influential Mini-Microsoft blog posts a largely upbeat account of last week’s gathering. Yes, people were reported to be “streaming out” of the hall before the event had finished, although only in “small numbers”, and as the blog points out, it was “nowhere near as bad as BillG’s last company meeting where Ballmer started screaming at people to sit down”.


Stuart Turton’s Alternative Tech Awards of 2010

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

AwardsAs we usher in 2011, how better to reflect on 2010 than with some awards. To that end, I present the “Stuart Turton in association with PC Pro but not officially endorsed by them Awards”. For convenience sake, this will henceforth be abbreviated to the STIAWPPBNOEBTAs – which admittedly sounds like a gulag in Stalinist Russia, but will have to suffice.

So without further ado, it’s the first annual STIAWPPBNOEBTAs! Drum roll, please.


What Microsoft employees think of Steve Ballmer

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

ballmer4x3We can guess what Steve Ballmer thinks of Steve Ballmer’s tenure as Microsoft CEO, as he says his firm is doing just fine. “We’re a company that will make $26 billion pre-tax [this year], so I’m not going to be apologetic for our financial results,” Ballmer told the audience at a speech in London this week.

And we have a pretty clear picture what his own board feels, after it awarded him only half of his possible bonus. While that still puts an extra $670,000 in his pocket, the board chastised the CEO for his failings in the mobile space.

But what do those actually working at Microsoft think of Ballmer? Website Glassdoor lets employees rate their companies, giving advice for would-be workers on whether it’s a good idea to work there.

Of the 1,116 ratings on Glassdoor (out of 91,000 Microsoft workers worldwide), only 50% approve of Ballmer’s efforts. Of course, it’s probably biased: angry people head to the web to rant, not happy ones.

What’s Steve Ballmer’s favourite Xbox game?

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

When he opened the floor for questions at the end of a speech on cloud computing this morning, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer could hardly have expected the question posed to him by one plucky economics student: what’s your favourite Xbox game?

Ballmer thought for a second or two, before leaping to his feet to deliver his answer. Would the über-macho Microsoft boss pick something brutal, such as Halo or Call of Duty? Or what about a title his boardroom buddies could empathise with, such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour?

Nope. Instead 54-year-old Steven Anthony Ballmer beamed the broadest of smiles and in entirely typical fashion yelled: “Beach Volleyball, baby!”

I wonder why that 2003 title has remained in his affections for so long???

Beach Volleyball

Steve Ballmer signs a Mac

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Never let it be said that Steve Ballmer doesn’t have a sense of humour. Nor that Nashville students don’t have cojones. Because it takes a brave man to ask the Microsoft boss to sign his computer, when said computer is blatantly a MacBook Pro.

The big question: is the MacBook worth more or less than it was before?

What do Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Scott McNealy have in common? They’re lucky.

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Scott McNealy like you\'ve never seen them beforeIf you’ve ever wondered why it’s the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Ballmer, Scott McNealy and Eric Schmidt who are the successful ones who end up creating and running a hugely successful technology company and not you then I have excellent news – it’s not your fault. In fact, it’s an accident of birth.

I was reminded of this while browsing through Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point, Blink and generally considered to be a very clever bloke) as part of my research, such that it was, for next month’s Prolog – that is, the editor’s column in PC Pro. (more…)






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