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Microsoft under pressure to drop Steve Ballmer

updated 12:05 pm EDT, Thu July 22, 2010

Ballmer may be ousted over share price

Pressure is mounting inside Microsoft to replace its CEO Steve Ballmer after years of lukewarm performance, sources said this morning. Executives are happy with the solid financial performance but are increasingly frustrated that Ballmer has done nothing exciting enough at Microsoft to raise its share price. If he doesn't act within the next six to nine months, there may be a 'mutiny' that forces the executive out, according to Daily Beast insiders.

Calls for a change of executives allegedly grew loudest once Apple passed Microsoft's market cap; the symbolic milestone put the iPhone creator's value to shareholders above that of Microsoft, even if Microsoft was still a larger revenue generator. Microsoft recently retook its position but, as of Thursday, had already lost it again after an Apple share rally.

The software giant has had a history of stagnant share prices that began in 2001, roughly a year after Ballmer took over from Bill Gates as CEO. Its price has been trapped below $30 for nearly all of the past decade and saw its biggest move only when the world economic collapse brought its share price below $20. Its share of the desktop OS market has remained flat or even slightly declined, while ventures such as Xbox, Zune and online services have either had modest success or stood as money-losing ventures. It plans a full attack on tablets but has yet to see a partner ship a significant competitor to the iPad.

Independent sources have yet to corroborate the story; at present, there haven't been clear signs of dissent at the top levels of the company. Among those below, however, calls have been put out for a major change in leadership as many executives still continue to work for Microsoft after high-profile failures, such as Microsoft Kin lead Roz Ho, even as successful executives have chosen early departures.

Microsoft is due to report its latest fiscal results today and may face some reckoning at the time, as it's suspected the revenue kick from the iPad, along with improving iPhone and Mac sales, may have put Apple's revenue much closer to that of Microsoft's.

by MacNN Staff



  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Be careful what you wish for

    So Microsoft executives are calling for Ballmer to be replaced? They think a new guy, if he will lead a reinvigoration of Microsoft, is going to keep the current executive corps? Good luck to ya, busters? The problem with Microsoft is not just the CEO but the executives under him who are more concerned about petty empire building and turf protection than the overall welfare of Microsoft. Read about how the executives undermined Gates' tablet computing initiative years ago. Or how the separate divisions withhold resources including technical know-how from each other.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Let's hope the person who runs the Kin department will become the new Microsoft CEO.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    NO!!! Don't Do That!

    Ballmer as CEO is the best thing Microsoft has ever done for Apple.

  1. Spacemoose

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A Stronger Microsoft

    As a dedicated fan of just about all things Apple, I think a stronger Microsoft would be better for consumers.

    I for one think increased competition from Google and a stronger MS would only help drive innovation.

    Currently, most of the fresh ideas are coming out of Apple and quickly cloned by everybody else. They work very, very hard to have that happen. If half of these fresh ideas were coming from outside Apple, they could spend a lot less time cloning those ideas than originally introducing them. They can then devote those extra resources on solving other challenges.

    Just imagine what kinds of fresh ideas Apple would be unveiling if half of the challenges they've solved in the past few years were solved for them!

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yeah, Replace Steve Balmer....

    ...with an iPhone.

  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Would Bill Gates have the balls?

    Given that he fecklessly allowed 2nd, 3rd level execs to get away with sabotaging his beloved, publicly declared, tablet computing initiative, I wonder if Bill Gates even has the cojones to fire his old college buddy.

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "the world economic collapse"

    LOL... that was not a ain't seen nothing yet...

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's Better For Consumers

    Apple is not going to worry about any of their competition. They just want to make the best products possible. If they happen to become the market leader in any segment, so be it. Microsoft has always had the opposite focus: in their minds, they have to become the market leader at any and all costs in any and every segment no matter how good or bad or their products actually are.

    If you want to really motivate Apple, get together with your fellow consumer technology competitors, identify a new product category, and start releasing clumsy, poorly thought-out, fugly, and cheap products (or keep doing more of the same in an existing category.)

    If you want to really scare Apple, identify a new product category and as the first-ever product release an intuitive, beautiful, functional device/software at a price it can obviously command (or address the obvious shortcomings of all existing products in a given category with a device/software that takes them to the next two levels.)

  1. Fonejacker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No Keep him!!!!

    He can sing, he can dance, he can shout. OK, he can't spot a good product, remember his comments about the iPhone when it first came out. Copies, steals other people's ideas, and then claims them as new, innovative from the innovation machine that Microshaft is. Over the last 10 years, I can't really think of anything new or innovative from Microcopy. XBox, another games machine, PC tablet (less said the better), music devices (years too late and boy it was rubbish), mobile devices (can't think of any), what was that table thing called ? A decade of nothingness, except bringing out the same old rubbish with a few or many new unwanted features. Even Bill Gates said the internet was a flash in the pan. Google came up with something the internet was screaming for. Where would we be without Google's search engine.Thanks to Apple and Google the world is seeing real innovation, in hardware and software without the hindrance of Microshaft. Please keep him, we need a good laugh and we need Microcopy out of the tech industry, as they have shown to have come up with nothing that's really new, different, works, does not cost the earth, is what customers actually want.

  1. denislemire

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Do it.

    The sooner they oust Balmer the sooner the healing can begin. Who knows, with hard work, determination and time, there's a chance Microsoft could one day be relevant again!

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