A former Microsoft executive, speaking with Reuters, has declared that Steve Ballmer is “not the right person to be leading the world’s largest software company”, Daniel Krupa for IGN reports on Jan. 22.
The former executive is Joachim Kempin, who left the company in 2002 “under a cloud”. He had been part of the Microsoft team since 1983, and had been senior vice president overseeing Windows sales.
Speaking Reuters on Tuesday, promoting his new book, “Resolve and Fortitude: Microsoft’s ‘Secret Power Broker’ Breaks His Silence”, Kempin says, “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,” Kempin goes on to say. “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."
He continues to accuse Ballmer of other things, including ousting employees who have the potential to replace him as CEO. Richard Belluzzo, the man credited with launching the Xbox, is one of the examples Kempin brings up. Belluzzo rose to the position of chief operating officer, but then left the company after only 14 months. He left “due to Ballmer’s management style”.
“He (Belluzzo) had no room to breathe on the top," revealed Kempin. "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."
Kempin also described Ballmer’s “tardiness” when it came to taking on new technology. He outlines how Microsoft has tablets during the Windows XP days—and “it was never followed up properly. They missed all the opportunities they were talking about when I was still in the company.”
For the future of Microsoft, Kempin concludes, “For Microsoft to really get back in the game seriously, you need a big change in management. As much as I respect Steve Ballmer, he may be part of that in the end."