He is the kind of guy who could even make an airline – which is a pretty difficult line of business – turn massive profits, I’m sure. But if you put people who own your stock in front of your customers, you may even make money, but you won’t be number one. We live in a world with more users than shareholders. Ask Google, Amazon. Ask Facebook for crying out loud.
Well, Ballmer is a PR nightmare. There, I said it. Forgetting for a minute if he was a good CEO or not, he should never have been allowed to speak for his company publicly. That led into shenanigans like dismissing the iPhone or pretending to smash an interviewer’s Macbook, just to name a few. Developers. Developers. Developers.
Another thing: Gary Flake, Ray Ozzie, J Allard and many others fled with Steve as head honcho. Those people were geniouses. Any one of those guys could pretty much come up with similar if not better products than anything out of Cupertino. But Microsoft bled talent. I wonder why those people got out?
For all of Ballmer’s tenure as Chief Officer, money seemed to always be the solution. Microsoft always showed up late for all parties – modern mobile OS, search, video games – with a truckload of money and kept raining benjamins until each business could barely stand on its own.
For product driven companies like Apple, money is the mere consequence of innovation and good product design. Steve Ballmer always struck me as an extraordinary revenue executive and this is not exactly bad, it’s only bad if he works at a company starving for a revolutionary break like Microsoft.