Friday, August 23rd 2013

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Retire Within 12 Months

Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most.

"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer said. "We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company's transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction."

The Board of Directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process. This committee is chaired by John Thompson, the board's lead independent director, and includes Chairman of the Board Bill Gates, Chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and Chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo. The special committee is working with Heidrick & Struggles International Inc., a leading executive recruiting firm, and will consider both external and internal candidates.

"The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company," Thompson said. "As this work continues, we are focused on selecting a new CEO to work with the company's senior leadership team to chart the company's course and execute on it in a highly competitive industry."

"As a member of the succession planning committee, I'll work closely with the other members of the board to identify a great new CEO," said Gates. "We're fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties."
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74 Comments on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Retire Within 12 Months

#1
Solidstate89
remixedcat said:
Sinofsky woulda done a better job.
The hell he would have. That arrogant blowhard loved lording over his Windows fiefdom and plowing through anyone who dare get in their way. You know how Office for Windows RT wasn't finished? You can thank Sinofsky for that. When the Office division requested some help integrating with Metro he basically to told them to fuck off in no uncertain terms.

I was quite happy when Sinofsky was let go. That man was a poison who needed to be ejected from Microsoft.
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#2
DannibusX
So much hate.

You all need to chill. Steve Ballmer was a great CEO for Microsoft. He oversaw the launch of most of Microsoft's key products and technologies.
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#4
buggalugs
They screwed up windows 8. People don't like change, they should have learnt that lesson after Vista.

Its hard to progress/improve and still please the traditionalists but with 90% market share, windows for desktop didn't need a UI overhaul. An OS with a "desktop mode" and "modern/touch mode" would have been a better idea.
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#5
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
rtwjunkie said:
Yes, you are both right. What exists now in its cheapest form is Server Essentials, at 5 times the cost, putting it out of reach of average home user. My point was thaey announced the EOL (of 2016) a mere year after release, and the manner in which they did it sounded to any casual reader who might have considered WHS 2011 that it was just plain cancelled. So sales dropped way off after that. It was just a complete mismangement of the program and the PR all the way around.
Announcing the EOL a year after release is nothing new for Microsoft products, in fact they set EOL dates the day most products are released but often changes them as the product goes through its life. We knew the EOL date of Windows 7 the day it was released. The news articles are the ones that made the WHS EOL sound like the program had been cancelled because they rolled the story of WHS 2011 EOL in with the fact that the program was being cancelled, but the EOL had already been known since day one.

The problem with WHS, and why I can see why they are cancelling it, is it doesn't appeal to most people and a large majority of the functionality is already built into standard versions of Windows. 99% of home users can easily just use a Windows 7 Pro computer as their home server.
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#6
RejZoR
Why do people complain and cheer like Ballmer had anything to do with Windows 8 development? He's a CEO of a mega corporation, not some small development firm where CEO does half of the other stuff. CEO in companies like Microsoft only makes strategic decisions, he never had anything to do with how new Start menu is formed etc. That's what executives below him are responsible for. Usually each division has its own and that person probably ha another "boss" below him who commands the code monkeys. And that's where things are really happening. The executives may report to CEO, but not how tiny things are formed, they most likely have to report how general public feedback and statistics go, what are expectations etc.

I personally am not cheering his decision. He wasn't the most charismatic person unlike Bill Gates, sure, but he wasn't all that bad. After all he was with Microsoft almost from the very beginning and he was running several other successful divisions in the MS past... And he was leading MS for 13 years so that's not exactly a short time even though he could run it for longer. It's his decision.
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#7
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
RejZoR said:
Why do people complain and cheer like Ballmer had anything to do with Windows 8 development? He's a CEO of a mega corporation, not some small development firm where CEO does half of the other stuff. CEO in companies like Microsoft only makes strategic decisions, he never had anything to do with how new Start menu is formed etc.
actually he did. as CEO it was his decision to adopt the business model apple uses. microsoft wants to drive revenue through app purchases. They changed windows 8 to be more mobile friendly just like IOS. those decisions came straight from the top. not that i care one way or the other since i don't own any microsoft stock and i don't run windows 8.
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#8
buggalugs
@ RejZor I disagree. The CEO is always responsible, at least in a large public company like Microsoft. If its a private company then yes the CEO can blame everyone , fire everybody and keep himself.

Obviously, Ballmer didn't design anything but a decision about a major design change would have to be signed off from the top. It was a major design change away from the ubiquitous windows desktop that has dominated the world for 20+ years.

I agree though, that the treatment is harsh, after the guy has been their for years and had a lot of success, but when the company loses heaps of cash from a design decision , the shareholders go nuts and want blood.

Anyway, don't feel too sorry for him. He is like a gazzillionaire, he can sit on the beach sipping cocktails!!
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#9
RejZoR
No. You people are forgeting that Microsoft just makes too much stuf for CEO to have under control and say yay and nay for specific things under specific division.

One thing is a CEO in a small firm that only makes Android apps and another a CEO in a corporation that makes anything from phones, operating systems to consoles and office suites...
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#10
Ravenas
Ballmer's biggest problem was underestimating the iPhone and the beginning of the "smartphone"/tablet movement. He failed at seeing the mobile world evolving into tablets instead of laptops. Steve Jobs, giving credit where credit is due, did see the mobile transformation (and Apple can be given credited for creating a mainstream movement of this). Ballmer has done well as of late in regards to the mobile world with the Surface and the Windows 8 phones. People think of the Surface as a failure, but the Surface Pro is good product. What is more important that the Surface Pro being a good product, is that it started a transformation with Microsoft's OEM manufacture products. Now all of the OEMs are making tablets with Windows 8 and Windows RT. Another issue Microsoft has right now is attracting their once touted developer strength to their mobile tablets and phones. Microsoft's OEMs are struggling though... Look at Dell going private. HP struggling with making strong profits. AMD struggling to transition to a mobile chip world. Issues with the Xbox One are overblown. Its childish the way people act towards the product when it is a very good and strong product.

Ballmer was a good CEO who failed to see what was happing in the mobile world. Where people are buying tablets instead of buying laptop PCs. Laptops are being bought at longer transition cycle as compared to tablets and its hurting PC profits. Everything Microsoft has done has been very good in my opinion. I think it was a more of a it's time to try something new rather than you have done a bad job.
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#12
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
newtekie1 said:
Announcing the EOL a year after release is nothing new for Microsoft products, in fact they set EOL dates the day most products are released but often changes them as the product goes through its life. We knew the EOL date of Windows 7 the day it was released. The news articles are the ones that made the WHS EOL sound like the program had been cancelled because they rolled the story of WHS 2011 EOL in with the fact that the program was being cancelled, but the EOL had already been known since day one.

The problem with WHS, and why I can see why they are cancelling it, is it doesn't appeal to most people and a large majority of the functionality is already built into standard versions of Windows. 99% of home users can easily just use a Windows 7 Pro computer as their home server.
You are correct, sir...probably the main problem with the EOL was the way they released the info, and then the way it was handled in the news. Most people who I have talked to wanted to get it, waited the first year out, and then were under the impression it is gone, I've had to educate them that it's still for sale and still mainstream-supported. Their lack of promotion also leaves those that do know about it thinking it does just backups, which is very far from the truth.

As to doing everything my W7 can do, no not really. Most things, yes, but with more effort than WHS took, and you're running a lot more OS overhead than you really need. As to W8, even its functionality in the backup arena isn't quite there. Believe me, there have been a number of people on We Got Served, including both the website and the forums that configured storage spaces to use W8 as a backup server, and it works...just not quite as well, and with a much greater investment in time. And the server app support isn't there either. The real successor is Server Essentials, which operates the same way, but at considerably more investment. WHS just..worked, almost out of the box. but when you don't support your own product and promote it, it's tough to get more than 2-3% of the user base to adopt.
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#13
wickerman
I don't think Ballmer has done his job as badly as many people make out, you can't really ignore the fact that profits at Microsoft increased nearly 200% under his tenure since 2000. As CEO last year Microsoft saw profits of nearly 22 billion dollars, and profits had been just under 8 billion the year before he took over. I think Microsoft's products as a whole have been steadily advancing, and that is a problem when people expect leaps and bounds, but I've really yet to use any of their products and say it is truly inferior in every way in comparison to what competitors are offering. Zune is really the only one that comes to mind, but it is hard to beat Apple at their own game and if you're not buying an iPod at that time, you would have been happy saving a few hundred bucks and getting a simple, reliable MP3 player from any number of device manufacturers. Zune just wasn't a good product to compete with the iPod until later generations, but at that point iTunes had grown so big it was hard to even keep up in terms of music and movie licensing in the Zune Marketplace.

But I do see a lot of Microsoft's failures as correctable, and truly hope his replacement walks in willing and capable of fixing the platforms that are struggling. Surface Pro is certainly a product they would be foolish to kill off, especially considering that Haswell finally delivers a platform that can fit into tablets without sacrificing battery life or performance. Some of these new chips have an SDP rating as low as 6w. Higher end A15-based SoCs like Samsung's Exynos 5250 reach a peak TDP of about 8w. And the upcoming Atom evolution will certainly make it possible to have a "semi-pro" surface tablet that could very easily balance price and performance in a perfectly usable product.

And I think Windows Phone would find greater traction if Microsoft leveraged their position and integrated cross platform features with Windows and the xbox. They could do so many great things but thus far its more gimmicky than anything truly ground breaking.

And I do admit my experience with WHS is very limited, as my own servers are linux based - but I do think Microsoft could take a page from Apple here. With Apple, you can go buy any OSX powered mac (the mini is popular choice) and hop into the App store and pay $20 for an upgrade to OSX Server edition. Microsoft could easily do this, and just offer the best features of WHS as a software stack and perhaps throw in some code to remove the bloat you wouldn't need in transitioning from a desktop version of Windows to a home server version. I'm sure there will be limitations in such a product, but over time Microsoft would be able to address those and grow the feature base just as Apple has done since removing their $500 OSX server and making OSX server an addon for standard OSX.

If Microsoft find's a replacement who is actually interested in improving the products, it could be a very quick turn around for them. But I really hope they don't bring in a cost cutting machine who just wants to slash projects left and right in an effort to save money.
Posted on Reply
#15
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
wickerman said:
And I think Windows Phone would find greater traction if Microsoft leveraged their position and integrated cross platform features with Windows and the xbox. They could do so many great things but thus far its more gimmicky than anything truly ground breaking.

And I do admit my experience with WHS is very limited, as my own servers are linux based - but I do think Microsoft could take a page from Apple here. With Apple, you can go buy any OSX powered mac (the mini is popular choice) and hop into the App store and pay $20 for an upgrade to OSX Server edition. Microsoft could easily do this, and just offer the best features of WHS as a software stack and perhaps throw in some code to remove the bloat you wouldn't need in transitioning from a desktop version of Windows to a home server version. I'm sure there will be limitations in such a product, but over time Microsoft would be able to address those and grow the feature base just as Apple has done since removing their $500 OSX server and making OSX server an addon for standard OSX.
Your thoughts on the Windows Phone and WHS and how to do them right are brilliant! You are thinking outside of the box, yet you are using common sense. :toast: Let's hope the next guy is a down-to-Earth visionary!
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#16
Prima.Vera
Nobody is mentioning I see the Office 2013, and it's completely crap new type of font rendering...
The idiots removed the Clear Type antialiasing on all the fonts, and now all the Word documents are almost impossible to edit to due incredible font blurring/aliasing/pixelations/etc. This is by faaar THE WORST doing of MS...
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#17
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
Prima.Vera said:
Nobody is mentioning I see the Office 2013, and it's completely crap new type of font rendering...
The idiots removed the Clear Type antialiasing on all the fonts, and now all the Word documents are almost impossible to edit to due incredible font blurring/aliasing/pixelations/etc. This is by faaar THE WORST doing of MS...
Looks perfectly fine on my screen. Looks just as it did in the previous version.
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#18
Prima.Vera
MxPhenom 216 said:
Looks perfectly fine on my screen. Looks just as it did in the previous version.
Seems like the issue is mostly on users with AMD cards...
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#19
TheMailMan78
Big Member
Prima.Vera said:
Seems like the issue is mostly on users with AMD cards...
. AMD doesn't have driver issues.
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#20
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
Prima.Vera said:
Seems like the issue is mostly on users with AMD cards...
I have no problems with it....
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#21
Ravenas
brandonwh64 said:
I have no problems with it....
Nor do I.
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#23
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
Are you really running that system in your System Specs on Windows 8? :laugh: :laugh:

Update your specs.
Posted on Reply
#24
Prima.Vera
MxPhenom 216 said:

Update your specs.

:D
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