Ballmer’s resignation could be key to Microsoft’s survival, says former exec

Tuesday, 22 January 2013 09:16 GMT By Dave Cook

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been painted as a formidable force at the top of the company’s executive ladder, who would oust up-and-coming employees he feared would challenge his position of power. That’s the claim of former Microsoft exec Joachim Kempin, who has called for Ballmer’s resignation in order to see Microsoft’s revival, and has discussed Ballmer’s supposedly aggressive survival tactics in a new book.

Reuters reports that Kempin’s book, ‘Resolve and Fortitude: Microsoft’s “secret power broker” breaks his silence’, states that Ballmer is out of touch with the current market, and that someone in the 35-40 age bracket is needed to get Microsoft in line with the Facebooks and other social trends in today’s world.

Speaking with the site, Kempin stated, “Is he a great CEO? I don’t think so. Microsoft’s board is a lame duck board, has been forever. They hire people to help them administer the company, but not to lead the company. That’s the problem.

“They need somebody maybe 35-40 years old, a younger person who understands the Facebook Inc generation and this mobile community. They don’t need this guy on stage with this fierce, aggressive look, announcing the next version of Windows and thinking he can score with that.”

Kempin, who left Microsoft in 2002, added that since 2000 Ballmer had ousted any exec who had a chance of dethroning him as CEO. Kempin first witnessed Ballmer’s aggressive streak in relation to Richard Belluzzo, the very same exec credited with the launch of Microsoft’s original Xbox.

After rising to chief operating officer, he quit Microsoft after 14 months. Kempin said of his departure, “He (Belluzzo) had no room to breathe on the top. When you work that directly with Ballmer and Ballmer believes ‘maybe this guy could someday take over from me’, my God, you will have less air to breathe, that’s what it comes down to.”

Elsewhere, Kempin added that Microsoft missed repeat opportunities to launch a tablet devive, and stated, “Steve is a very good business guy, but make him a chief operating officer, not a CEO, and your business is going to go gangbusters. I respect that guy (Ballmer), but there are some limitations in what he can and can’t do and maybe he hasn’t realized them himself.”

What’s your take on the seemingly messy ordeal? Should Ballmer stay, or go? Let us know below.

Thanks Gi.Biz.