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Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is 'worst CEO'May 14, 2012 @ 9:41 am (Updated: 6:16 pm - 5/14/12 )
Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is the "worst Chief Executive Officer of a large publicly traded American company today," that according to Forbes.
The Forbes article, 5 CEOS that should have already been fired, says Ballmer has destroyed shareholder value and jobs at Microsoft and "singlehandedly steered Microsoft out of some of the fastest growing and most lucrative tech markets."
While other CEOs on the list include the heads of GE, WalMart and Sears, the Forbes writer comes down hard on Ballmer ranking him as number 1 - the worst of the worst.
Here's what Adam Hartung writes about Ballmer:
Without a doubt, Mr. Ballmer is the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today. Not only has he singlehandedly steered Microsoft out of some of the fastest growing and most lucrative tech markets (mobile music, handsets and tablets) but in the process he has sacrificed the growth and profits of not only his company but “ecosystem” companies such as Dell, Hewlett Packard and even Nokia. The reach of his bad leadership has extended far beyond Microsoft when it comes to destroying shareholder value – and jobs.
Microsoft peaked at $60/share in 2000, just as Mr. Ballmer took the reins. By 2002 it had fallen into the $20s, and has only rarely made it back to its current low $30s value. And no wonder, since execution of new rollouts were constantly delayed, and ended up with products so lacking in any enhanced value that they left customers scrambling to find ways to avoid upgrades. By Mr. Ballmer’s own admission Vista had over 200 man-years too much cost, and its launch, years late, met users avoiding upgrades. Microsoft 7 and Office 2012 did nothing to excite tech users, in corporations or at home, as Apple took the leadership position in personal technology.
So today Microsoft, after dumping Zune, dumping its tablet, dumping Windows CE and other mobile products, is still the same company Mr. Ballmer took control over a decade ago. Microsoft is PC company, nothing more, as demand for PCs shifts to mobile. Years late to market, he has bet the company on Windows 8 – as well as the future of Dell, HP, Nokia and others. An insane bet for any CEO – and one that would have been avoided entirely had the Microsoft Board replaced Mr. Ballmer years ago with a CEO that understands the fast pace of technology shifts and would have kept Microsoft current with market trends.
Although he’s #19 on Forbes list of billionaires, Mr. Ballmer should not be allowed to take such incredible risks with investor money and employee jobs. Best he be retired to enjoy his fortune rather than deprive investors and employees of building theirs.
By LINDA THOMAS
AP file photo
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