Source: WSJ (Moneybeat)
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO since 2000, plans to retire within the next year. While successfully managing a big company like Microsoft is no easy task, Ballmer’s missed opportunities have been well documented. Interestingly, upon news of Ballmer’s impending retirement, Microsoft’s stock surged, making Ballmer worth about a billion dollars more than he was on earlier in the week (albeit causing a possible blow to his ego).
The New Yorker noted a rather grim summary of Ballmer’s reign as Microsoft’s CEO:
When he took control, in 2000, Microsoft was one of the most powerful and feared companies in the world. It had a market capitalization of around five hundred billion dollars, the highest of any company on earth. Developers referred to it as an “evil empire.” As he leaves, it’s a sprawling shadow. It still has cash—but that matters little.
In what some call Microsoft’s “lost decade,” here’s a list of six opportunities missed by the tech giant during Ballmer’s tenure as CEO, courtesy of Bloomberg:
- Web Search
- Innovation at Scale
- Corporate Management
Going forward, will Microsoft follow a path more like Dell (stuck in the PC business), IBM (successful transition to business services), or become more like Google (finding success in search, mobile, and anything else under the sun). One thing is certain though: Microsoft’s new CEO will have a tough task ahead of him.