Lachrymose Ballmer laments his Microsoft ousting

Nov 19, 2013

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal newspaper, characterised by a wistfulness tinged with anger and bitterness. Mr. Ballmer revealed that pressure from the Microsoft Board of Director's had reached such a level that he felt he had no choice other than to resign.

He said that he realised (very late, in the opinion of many of the company's top execs) that "At the end of the day we need to break a pattern. Face it: I'm a pattern."

The Microsoft board, only too well aware that the company had either simply ignored, passed up on or only half-heartedly adopted new technologies and consumer trends in key areas such as social media, the Internet and tablet computing, demanded that Ballmer put all his energies into quickly completing the so-called "One Microsoft" strategy.

In the event the board thought Ballmer was being sluggish in pushing through reforms that didn't seem particularly to interest him and so increased the pressure. Also speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft Director John Thompson said, “We [the Board] didn’t push Steve to step down but we were pushing him damn hard to go faster.”

And it wasn't just the Board. Microsoft investors were getting more and more restless and impatient for radical change - not just more of the same and a gradual decline. Big, bald, belligerent, blubbering Ballmer finally got the message and realised he had to go. Mind you he's taking his time about it. Expectations are that he will continue to haunt the corridors at Redmond until at least May next year, and could hang around until as late as August 2104.

He'll be a lame duck there but, as a major owner of Microsoft stock, he'll still be a powerful figure in the background, an 'eminence gris' who could cause trouble for his successor.

Steve Ballmer says he won't hang about in the shadows pulling strings but leaving the stage will be very difficult for the man. He says he plans to take six months off and then look around for new opportunities that will not include running a huge company. The question is, what will he do when he gets bored with the quiet life? After all, he'll still be a director of Microsoft

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