No More Funny Faces: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Retire Within a Year, Seeks Successor

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DoctorX

well well well... multiple sources are reporting Ballmer was ousted by the ms board, not retiring. The spin is for smooth transistion, however apparently Ballmer had no intention of retiring any time soon.

http://allthingsd.com/20130825/ballmer-departure-from-microsoft-was-more-sudden-than-portrayed-by-the-company/?mod=atd_homepage_carousel

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DoctorX

my $1.02 worth here. This is what Microsoft needs to do to get back on track. The new CEO needs to do this asap:

kill bing... just a money pit and give up on the dream of toppling Google

kill windows 8 and all the metro bs and go back to the windows 7 paradigm. The desktop isnt dying, but it is transforming. Make it completely transformable and very customizable instead of locking into one interface. ie... give us win7 interface as an option in windows 8

kill the tablet. This is something like MS 4th attempt and a tablet market. All have been fail.

kill the windows phone. it isnt going anywhere and costing a bunch of money. They will never unseat Google or Apple and if they continue to push it, they may be another blackberry.

Embrace and invest in the group that got you to the top: enthusiasts. WE are the ones that have the CIOs ear on everything IT. Resurrect WHS and go back to the roots. Give us a reason to pick MS over Linux (the last few years have been just the opposite).

Kill the patent trolling.

Quit trying to kill linux in the datacenter.. all MS has done is push companies into the penguin's arms.

Finally, QUIT TRYING TO BE APPLE!!!! If we wanted apple products, we would have bought them.

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maxeeemum

So Ballmer is finally on his way out and it's much more than Surface. In September 2011 I installed Windows 8 Developers Preview and I was floored. Then despite all the controversy M$ continued down the path making each new version worse. It was obvious that the Ballmer departure was inevitable. The whole Win8 concept is just a failure. Maybe if M$ listened to their customers like with Xbox One he would still be CEO.

Of course they will keep him around for awhile so he can be the scape goat for Windows 8.1.

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Chad727

I was wondering when this was going to happen after news of the shareholders lawsuit arrived. You can piss off your customers and get away with it if you're transitioning to a new type of customer. It's a lot harder to piss off shareholders who expect to be listened to and get away with it. It's honestly irrelevant though because he'll be replaced by another buzz-word spouting salesman that will drive us all insane until they piss off the shareholders and the cycle repeats.

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OpTicaL

Look at Steve Ballmer and look at the current state of Windows OS, see a resemblance?

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Ghost XFX

Let's not make this man more than he actually was....
And to be honest, I don't think Surface was the issue, as much as the OS within it, that turned people away.

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nHeroGo

Miss him already. Must watch his ten greatest moments on YouTube. Can't believe it has been so long since Bill Gates stepped down.

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warptek2010

I understand the following question might inflame some, especially those with a BS in business but... Why not take the opportunity to ask another question here? What the hell exactly is the role of the CEO in the 21st century world of corporations anyway, I mean besides the obvious of sucking millions out of the company in the form of salary, bonuses and stock options? I know for a fact Ballmer never designed a damn thing, nor wrote a line of code. He most green lighted this and that and axed this and that. Isn't high time this outdated dinosaur of a concept gets a revision of some kind?

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WarpathPS

There is always some jealous socialist hanging around. You are supposed to outgrow jealousy. 21st century? You do realize a CEO is a leader correct? You do realize that humans are the same as they were thousands of years ago? Don't confuse technological progress with evolution.

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warptek2010

Socialist? I think not. I despise socialism as an economic model. It is ultimately an unsustainable zero sum game not to even mention the immoral implications of it. It ultimately fails everywhere it's implemented simply on the premise you run out of others peoples money eventually. No, I am a Capitalist, pure and simple. All I said was the model of the CEO is outmoded, that's all. It certainly doesn't work in say a hospital or medical center where funds are limited, jobs get cut, services impaired - yet the ceo still makes his bonuses and million dollar salary for basically being a raider.

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WarpathPS

.

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Hey.That_Dude

As an engineer I'd recommend competing products if I honestly thought they were better (while simultaneously try to improve mine so that I don't feel like a twit).
Unfortunately that makes for a bad business model. What a business needs is someone who's willing to sell the product by any means. The CEO's job is to be the head of the company and when people get pissed and cry for murder you just chop off the head and replace it with a new one and *poof* it's a new "person/company-thing" that can do no wrong.
Well at least that's how I feel it works.

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Mungo

Would anyone at Apple or Microsoft fly in an airplane controlled by their respective OS?

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

I hope they can get Windows, PC gaming, and Office back on track with that asshole gone.

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Navyspook

All I can say is that this is long overdue. Between the tablet and Windows 8 flubs, it's time for a change..

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yammerpickle2

I agree with the quote from Steve Jobs and am I’m looking forward to new leadership at MS. Hopefully, someone who has technical skills, and who is focused on making customers happy.
So when is desktop WIN 9 with DX12 and native optimized support for multiple 3d 4K displays, the Oculus VR headset, and next gen Kinect going to come out?

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Scatter

Unfortunately they'll never replace him with a techie, they'll just replace him with another board member type suit.

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hornfire3

im not a win8/xbox hater (in other words, im neutral), but i am sure glad this poor old b****** is finally leaving. hope he learns his lesson in H***

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pastorbob

Or something like that.

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pastorbob

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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DoctorX

dont let the door hit you on the way out.

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Hey.That_Dude

I can't say I'm sad to see him go. Maybe they'll put someone with a brain on top. Even M$ still has to listen to it's customer base. (all of it, not JUST those yuppies who want to draw on their cheap tablets and want a universal interface [which not even crApple has tried to do]) That's why Win7 was such a huge success, that and everyone was eager as hell to get out of Vista.

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Xenite

Huzzah! The bald nemesis of Windows is finally be shit-canned! Today is a good day.

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Nimrod

I think that idiots like who who posted stupid things like this should take a good look at what he really did for the company before making your self look like a fking idiot on the interweb.

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Hey.That_Dude

Let me fix that for you Good Hunter.
Original-
"I think that idiots like who who posted stupid things like this should take a good look at what he really did for the company before making your self look like a fking idiot on the interweb."
Fixed-
"I think that idiots like YOU who posted stupid things like this should take a good look at what he really did for the company before making yourself look like a f**king idiot on the comments section."

After all, we can't have you insulting peoples intelligence when yours can be questioned by your use of poor English.

On another note, Yes he did well with Win7 and some say he did well with XBox. However, his recent track history has earned him the boot and that's a good thing.

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zcpro

I hate to say this...but Steve Jobs was right!!

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/steve-jobs-when-salespeople-run-tech-giants-its-over/61615

"I have my own theory about why the decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The product starts valuing the great salesmen, because they're the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the salespeople end up running the company." Steve Jobs

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spokenwordd

I tend to agree with Jobs' observation here. Windows 7 was a win for M$ under Balmer but many other over arching decisions left me feeling like wha??

Games For Windows Live - Forced Train Wreck on PC gamers for sake of X-Box

Windows Phone - Meh interface that has now been pushed across M$ platforms

Windows 8 Metro - Great OS bad interface to force on desktop users for sake of tablet, X-Box and Windows Phone market.

It seems like a lot of decisions were based on selling hardware for M$ namely Windows Phone, X-Box and M$ Tablets. This of course at the sacrifice of what made them big in the first place, the PC OS market.

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Hey.That_Dude

HOLY SHITE... I agree with Steve Jobs on something... OKAY, where's the giant meteor?

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germanogre

Actually, in Hell, a single droplet of water spontaneously froze.

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Hey.That_Dude

O.M.G. NO. WAY. *GASP*

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Random

Lately MS has been one disaster after the next. Hopefully MS will actually learn something from this and start listening to their customers. The Windows 8 fiasco is just one example of how incompetent this company has become under Steve Ballmer's guidance. I say good riddance!

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Bullwinkle J Moose

Awe cmon Ballmer, just one more time for youtube...

RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT, WHOOOOOOOOOOO!

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FireGarden

I want the job! I'll never get it, but I'd love to try and give MS some direction. (And I wouldn't alienate the desktop crowd!)

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Rift2

Now he can take up P90X and Jane Fonda's workout tapes while re-living $$$$ makes you do funny things like P90X

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Mikey109105

Thank God. it's about damn time. He's spent enough if his life screwing Microsoft and their consumer base over (though I admit the XBox 360 and Windows 7 were his prize jewels).

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TommM

Ding, dong the witch is dead!

What a clown. Microsoft has been nothing but one gigantic misstep after another under his "guidance."

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Nimrod

Right, that why their worth 250% more than they were before him huh? Get a clue dip sht.

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Fenthic

Nimrod, you really need to check your facts first. He has dragged Microsofts value down by over 50%. When Ballmer took the helm in 2000 the company had a worth of more then 601 billion dollars. As of today that value is at 270 billion dollars. So how is it they are worth 250% more?

kansascity.com/2013/08/23/4430713/microsoft-says-ceo-ballmer-to.html

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DoctorX

hey dipshit... get your facts straight... Balmer took over in 2000.... the closing price for microsoft on Dec 1, 1999 was 43.30. Aug 1, 2013 was 32.39. How the fck is that 250% more? It is even worse if you factor in inflation. The stock jumped today to 34.75 on news of his leaving the company.

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jbitzer

Well, to be fair, if you're going to throw out names and act like you're an expert, you should make sure there wasn't a 2 for 1 stock split in that time frame, so basically that $43.30 share is actually 2 $32.39 shares now.

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Fenthic

But 2 for 1 stock splits doesnt increase or decrease either the investors value or Microsofts value until the stocks either go up or down. Because 100 shares at 50 dollars a share is a 5k investment, under a 2-1 it would be 200 shares and 25 dollars a share for the same 5k investment. Dividend payments have compensated for some of the slump. Still, an investment of $1,000 in January 2000 would now be worth just $767 after reinvesting dividends, according to data from FactSet.

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Hey.That_Dude

Stock price != company value
Company value == Gross product + cost of all liquid and "easily make liquid" assets.
Stock price == how people feel about a company.

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Hey.That_Dude

And yet crApple's Net worth surpassed M$ while under Ballmer's reign.
Food for thought.

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wolfing

Be careful what you wish for...

Microsoft in their 'now we are a devices company' will probably grab someone from Apple or a design-first guy, overpay him a few million $/year, who will turn Windows into a lolly-pop

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sigmajt

https://twitter.com/justinwolfers/status/370908359030865922/photo/1
stock up 7% on this news. Arrogant and horrible vision. Good riddance.

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AFDozerman

Seriously, who didn't see this coming?

Now there are no Steves running any major tech company. (is that a good thing)?

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pantsupanic

"XBOX, XBOX 360, and XBOX One remain the most played consoles of all time, outplaying both Nintendo and Sony." -Volleynova

Not true. At all. Not even a little bit. Especially the XBOX One part. The console isn't even released yet. Your other points hold water but you're amazingly incorrect about the quote.

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theplustwo

I'd actually argue that this timing does make a lot of sense -- if he had left prior to the Windows 8 wave of products, it would have left the company directionless. It would have been a lot harder for new leadership to drive the monumental reorganization and shift in focus that Microsoft has gone through over the last two years.

Now, they've effectively turned the aircraft carrier around and are headed into a better direction for future development with their focus on devices and services. Ballmer can hand over the reins without it seeming like he's jumping off the Titanic.

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wumpus

Curious. One could also claim they have pointed the entire enterprise in a direction that they have been attempting for something like 15 years (winCE was by no means the first attempt in the mobile direction) and have a consistent history of failure.

The choice is between tending the cash cows of Windows and Office and reaching somewhere they have no idea how to reach, and have given up their old secrets of success after being repeatedly scolded (but received no real sanctions) by the courts. I have no idea why anyone would want to have windows 8 on their phone/tablet/whatever personal device, but then again I prefer desktops to laptops, so I am pretty much a minority of computer users.

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theplustwo

If you look at the Kin and Zune devices, they are clearly ancestors to the current generation of Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 systems. But the hardware just wasn't up to par with the iPhones and iPads of the day so they never caught on.

There was always the sense that these were trial balloons from Microsoft, and consumers can smell that and shy away from products that seem likely to go unsupported after a brief window.

This time, Microsoft has bet the farm on becoming a devices and services company. Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 aren't just some one-off pilot program like Windows CE or Windows XP Tablet Edition, these are their flagship products.