Bill, the executive office chair budget's spiraling out of control. You've got to do something.

When Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer championed “annual staff culls” as a business goal a few months back, urging colleagues to ruthlessly sack poor performers, I’m sure it never occurred to him that he himself might be identified as an underperforming executive in need of culling. But word around the campfire suggests as much. With Microsoft’s stock price stagnating, some on Wall Street are wondering if it might be time for Ballmer to go. “There’s speculation on Wall Street that Microsoft is going to dump CEO Steve Ballmer and hold him responsible for the company’s ills like not being able to get its stock price to move off the dime,” .NET Developer’s Journal reports. “There’s no speculation about who would succeed him yet, just a shiver of apprehension when Bill Gates’ name comes up.” A wild rumor to be sure, but given the shakeups we’ve seen at Microsoft this year, I suppose anything’s possible (see “First, the good news, Steve: Almost half the Vista code is just fine” and “That Einstein hairdo could only work for so long, Jim“)


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  • doug

    Removing Steve from the CEO position might be a possibility, but Steveb bleeds MSFT just as much as Billg is the heart and soul of the company. Although he has made mistakes, he has also been invaluable in keeping the company focused on its product direction. If you’ve never worked for Steve and Bill, then you really don’t understand the positive impact they play in the psyche of the company.