If this is true then it would be an indication that Steve Ballmer’s retirement might not have been voluntary. It is also an indication that Microsoft’s investors are looking for change. In the past year Microsoft has tried to do a massive 180 in direction on what type of company they are and it has not gone over well with consumers, OEM partners and investors. In fact it hurt Microsoft to the tune of $900 Million dollars in lost revenue. It was clear that things needed to change and fast.
So now Steve Ballmer is on the way out and someone is coming in to take his place. If things were business as usual we would probably hear that someone like Steve Elop (the actual odds favorite) is who investors are backing or someone similar. However, despite the guys in Vegas feeling he is the best bet for your money, not many others are feeling Elop would be a good choice. It is true that he was a good boy and did his job of keeping Nokia on the Windows Phone wagon (despite losses), but he also managed to run Nokia into the ground. It is not likely that the board will forget that and put him in charge of an unstable Microsoft.
Another option would be to bring back Steven Sifonsky as he is credited with turning the Windows Vista debacle around for Microsoft with Windows 7. Sifonsky’s arguments with Ballmer over the direction Microsoft was going are rumored to be one of the reasons that he left. Of course Sifonsky is also credited with the implementation of the Metro/Modern UI. This tiny little fact could be a factor in keeping Sifonsky out of the top spot although he might find things more welcoming once Ballmer is gone.
We are betting that Microsoft’s next CEO will be someone that will focus on direction. In other words they will be giving Microsoft one instead of simply trying to bounce around and copy what everyone else is doing. They will need to change Microsoft was a follower back into a technology leader which is something that Steve Ballmer’s vision of Microsoft just will not do. Ballmer never understood that you cannot copy what everyone else is doing and hope to lead the pack…
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