Steve Ballmer’s Retirement Timing Sucks

Steve Ballmer, in his retirement letter to Microsoft employees:

There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.

I’d like to know what goes through Steve Ballmer’s head. [1] How, in a million years and at this seminal point in Microsoft’s history, did he possibly think he could start a major re-organization of the company and then hand it over to a new CEO part way through? And when he said he’d do it in the middle of the “transformation,” where in that transformation does he actually think the company will be in a year?

I feel bad for the next girl. Not only is she going to have to complete a half finished transition, but she will have to pick up the pieces and try to make it her own company at the same time. If Ballmer was going to retire, he should have done it before the re-org announcement, helping the new CEO formulate the plan and act as an advisor during the transition. Then Microsoft would truly be her company.

I’ve already expressed my perspective on Microsoft and what direction I think the company should go. It’s no where close to the direction Ballmer has set for it. If Microsoft wants to talk anyway, though, I’d be happy to go to Seattle. 🙂

[1] I’d also like to know if this is him being forced to retire, but that’s a separate issue.

4 thoughts on “Steve Ballmer’s Retirement Timing Sucks

    • It’s possible, as per my footnote, and rather than firing him they gave him the option of retiring given his long history and service to the company. That’s the polite way to do it. But then shame on the Board for not doing it before the re-org was announced.

      On Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 9:40 AM, Elia Insider

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