Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer named worst CEO

Oh poor Steve Ballmer. Not only is the Microsoft CEO having a tough time gaining traction in the smartphone space and now Forbes is naming him “the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today.” Yikes.

The argument against Ballmer goes like this: Microsoft’s stock was much higher when he took over and he has failed to properly position the company to be at the forefront of the most popular trends in technology. It also doesn’t help that Apple used to be a gadfly to Microsoft but it has turned into the most valuable U.S. company in about a dozen years thanks to its iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Ballmer’s failures are plentiful too, as Vista, Zune, Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows 7 slate PCs were all under his watch. He may have also lucked out by not being able to buy Yahoo for a whopping $45 billion. There are also some videos out there which he may be regretting.

So, I’m not going to make the case that Ballmer is the greatest CEO out there but I think it’s unfair to call him the worst. Microsoft is still recording record revenues and is banking billions per quarter. Windows 7 was a great product and Windows 8 is a very forward-looking operating system which doesn’t discount tablets.

The X-Box 360 is arguably the best console out there and even if you’re a PS3 fan, Microsoft’s box has made great strides towards being the one multimedia box to rule the living room. As much as Bing and the online services have failed to turn a profit, this is an area that Microsoft has to dump resources in to or it will risk becoming irrelevant.

I’ve cut Microsoft a lot of slack for its mobile ambitions, as I truly think that Windows Phone is an interesting way to approach mobile computing. If it turns out that Windows Phone 7 and Mango were just a stop-gap until Windows Phone 8 (with a new kernal), I may not be as forgiving.

Do you think Ballmer is the worst CEO?

  • Anonymous

    so obvious no one wants to comment about it!!1

    • Anywho

      I’ve been running Windows 8 on and off for some time and believe if it is released in its current form it will be a complete disaster for Microsoft, surpassing even the Vista debacle.  A tablet interface makes perfect sense – on a tablet, but on a desktop or laptop PC it makes for a disjointed, confusing, difficult to use interface.  It may be the final disaster in needed for Ballmer’s to finally be removed from his position.

      • I’ve been using it since the second preview every day and the only reason I go back to 7 is for applications I haven’t yet installed. It works great, is fast, light, and fun. I guess we’ll find out what the average joe thinks when it lands. I like it.

  • MVZ

    Steve Balmer was and is a lucky SOB he was at MS at the right time he just doesn’t know squat that’s why he is falling miserably as a CEO time to past the torch before he brings down the evil empire, bring back Bill!

  • lenin lukose

    What was the Microsoft revenue when he took and where they stay currently ? 😛 Let us talk numbers, only fools can say he was bad !!!!

    • Please verify your facts first: WinPho is even below Samsung’s own Bada platform, with LG putting its own worldwide sales of WP7 devices at a “not a meaningful figure” level. The mobile world is a whole new type of wargame compared to what MS did with Xbox, here the competition is much more fiercesome than it was back in 2001, when the original console was introduced. You also arbitrarily  inflated Bing’s market share, perhaps you should look  at the statistics provided by ComScore before posting. Being a MS fan doesn’t relieve you of your duty to be rational, there’s no one “eating” Apple’s lunch, since Apple hoards more than $100 billion in cash at the moment, a sum MS only dreams of. Windows Phone has been on the market for more than 18 months and the guy whose pic is perched above the article admitted himself that “we went from very small to very small”. What’s the “obvious” then in that WinPho will take the lion’s share?! With screen sizes limited to 800*480px when RetinaDisplays, Super-LCDs or Super-AMOLEDs sport much higher pixel densities (in 720p), I fail to fathom how the much touted FB/Twitter integration will compensate for the tight HW requirements (like physical buttons, single core CPUs, etc.)

      Also why are you so optimistic and what makes you think that Win8 tables will be that successful? After all, the ex-Zune chief himself admitted recently they failed to deliver with that iPod competitor, the KIN was a complete fuckup ($400 million thrown to garbage because it would’ve competed with WP7), the Courier cancelled because it didn’t support Office – if recent history is any lesson, then MS doesn’t have a clue on how to monetize its broad mobile IP. I have no idea how they could mess things up so badly when they were the first to come up with tablets and mobile phone OS. Remember, HP tried to enter the already-crowded market by acquiring Palm, and they failed so miserably that half of the company’s market value was wiped out.

      What’s worse about this is that MS mobile downfall will eventually dismantle Nokia, whose current CEO (ex-MS employee) thinks that one size fits all, even though that size is extremely tiny…Meego or Symbian would’ve been a healthy competition to Android if the right people were at the top.

      • lenin lukose

        Apple 100 billion you are claiming is the market value calculated out of shares. It could happen anytime, this inflated baloon will burst anytime soon. Just check for the last six month how it got eroded. Mobile game is different but there too Microsoft started very lately but still coming up with really good products like Nokia Lumia 900. Clearly it had whacked Andorid and iOS. You are just saying about windows phone market share when they where selling in couple of countries. The total addressable market Windows Phone addressed was less than 2% currently Android and iPhone is addressing. Now in the second quarter they had imporved total addressable market which includes and India and China. Let us see the figures. When you tell numbers, you should also know where that numbers came from.

        You are saying about kin zune,..agreed those are products MS continue. But there are lot many products Apple and Google on that list. So technology companies , this is a common story. You are just trying to save your job !!!

        • It’s like I’m talking to a wall, not a human being… are you retarded, blind or simply stupid? the $100 billion I mentioned is CASH that the company has in its bank accounts, Apple’s market value is almost 3 times that of MS currently (check google finance: 524.42B for Apple vs. 244.32B for MS).

          And what the hell does this even mean “You are saying about kin zune,..agreed those are products MS continue.” ?

          • lenin lukose

            Retarded are you 100 billion cash in bank accounts.. thats one of the reason they dont have any idea of how to take it to the next instead spend its money wisely and have good platforms to launch its upcoming products.. where is apple ?? They are simply scratching on the iProducts ..nothing new.. they already lost to Android.. Market cap you are mentioning is based on share value.. sooner or later that will fall like a pack of cards !!!!

  • Kin User

    Of course Windows Phone 7 was just a stop gap on the way to Windows Phone 8.

    How could it be otherwise? We know WP8 is a total rewrite with a different kernel. It’s a different OS. Silverlight, the platform for developers to write current Windows Phone apps won’t be going forward into WP8.

    So, it’s time to stop being forgiving to Microsoft, which rewrites its OS every time it fails. You didn’t buy a Kin did you?

  • The pic is priceless… if a guy with that visage runs the top SW company in the world, it all starts to make sense…

  • I do not  believe that Mr Ballmer should get this award because Microsoft is still alive and Making money in the PC/Laptop/Server arena. and the Xbox is still the best game council. This is Microsoft’s core Business at this time and they are doing well. AS Far as Mobile devices such as Tablets and Smart phones go Microsoft is currently behind Iphones and Android smart phones. Folks do not count Microsoft out as far as Tablet computers go because the Windows 8  Intel CPU controlled Tablet Computers coming to Market Place this fall will not be DEAD ON ARRIVAL Because they will be able to run right out of the box literally thousands upon thousands of PC and Laptop and Server Business Programs, Games, and PC controlled peripherals and Windows Specialty programs. if the touch screen response is  fast on them and the battery life is decent than at last Microsoft will have a Tablet computer that People will want to buy that ALREADY HAS thousands of tried and tested APPS. Games and ECT. Window 8 for PC/Laptops?Server has already been bench mark tested and is FASTER AND BETTER THAN WINDOWS 7. The main Problem Microsoft will have is teaching People how to use the New PC METRO START SCREEN. Folks it is an added computers screen to the Windows operating system to help People us their Computer in more efficient way I have been using the Windows 8 Consumers Preview  since it First came out and have learned how to make it work for me. You can Too.I do not see why People are so troubled by it. It is not that big of a deal once you get the Basics of how to use it down and FOLKS you can click on a decktop Metro tile on the Metro start screen and get to the OLD desk top user interface if that is your thing.Microsoft must put in a bulit in tutorial Video in New Windows * computers to teach People how to use the Windows * Metro screen once they learn the basics they will be alright.

  • MS always playing Catch Up

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