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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer needs to make a graceful exit — MSFT – Investors.com


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By PATRICK SEITZ

Posted 08/21/2013 09:45 AM ET

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A new CEO often can be a catalyst for positive change. He or she can bring a fresh perspective to a company’s business, pursue opportunities previous management wouldn’t and reinvigorate a corporate culture.

Investors certainly have applauded the selection of Google (GOOG) veteran Marissa Mayer to run faded Internet giant Yahoo (YHOO).

That begs the question: Which company or companies would benefit the most from a change in management?

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer; on the hot seat? – Getty Images View Enlarged Image

I queried the community of investors at Stockr for opinions. One name rose to the top of the chopping block: Microsoft’s (MSFT) longtime CEO Steve Ballmer.

Ballmer leads something of a charmed life at Microsoft. He’s good friends with Microsoft co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates, who has had his back whenever Wall Street has called for his head over the years.

Ballmer deserves credit for steadily expanding the company’s PC businesses of Windows and Office and building up Microsoft’s server and tools division. But he badly missed the mobile and cloud computing trends that are threatening Microsoft’s core businesses.

"Under his watch, MSFT’s technological lead has evaporated, and the company has been unable to successfully move away from a reliance on desktop computing, and spends billions on R&D that ends up going nowhere," Stockr member Ivan Deryugin wrote. "The $900 million Surface RT write-down is just the latest example of how the company has failed to make a mark on the new mobile landscape."

The Surface tablet-notebook convertible is Microsoft’s response to Apple’s (AAPL) iPad and Google Android-based tablets. But the device has sold poorly and Microsoft has had to slash prices to clear out inventory. In July, it took a $900 million write-down on its Surface RT business for its fiscal fourth quarter.

After it reported Q4 results, Microsoft cut prices on its higher-end Surface Pro tablets, indicating that those, too, are selling poorly.

But Microsoft’s Surface losses are nothing compared with the black hole that is its online business, which includes Bing and MSN. Over the past six years, the unit has lost more than $16 billion.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system has proved to be a major flop, contributing to slow PC sales. The software giant bet on rapid adoption of touch-screen notebook and desktop PCs, but came up snake eyes.

Ballmer’s response to all the trends affecting his company was another corporate reorganization, one that gives him even more direct control over Microsoft’s sprawling operations.

"For the second time in five years, Microsoft is reorganizing," Stockr member Dianne Jefferies wrote. "But it doesn’t matter. Shareholders are pushing for far bigger changes than a standard management shakeup: everything from selling off entire business lines to buying back massive amounts of stock."

via Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer needs to make a graceful exit — MSFT – Investors.com.

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Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. (http://www.excitingads.com) and blog (https://search.excitingads.com). He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

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