Quoted: Steve Ballmer slammed in new book by ex-Microsoft exec

“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.”

Joachim Kempin, whom the Associated Press says is the most senior Microsoft executive (he oversaw Windows sales for part of his 1983-2002 tenure) to write a book critical of the software giant, referring to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. In “Resolve and Fortitude: Microsoft’s “secret power broker” breaks his silence,” which is scheduled for release today, Kempin says Ballmer forces out any managers who might threaten his power. The most recent high-profile departure was of the executive who headed Windows, Steven Sinofsky, who left in November. (See Windows chief logs off at Microsoft.) Kempin also writes that the Redmond, Wash., company had tablet software “when Windows XP came out, [but]  it was never followed up properly,” and that Microsoft needs somebody younger at the helm in the age of Facebook and mobile, but that the company’s “lame duck board” hires people to “administer,” not lead, Microsoft. Ballmer has been CEO since 2000, and loudly resisted a call for him to step down in 2011. (See Quoted: Ballmer’s fighting words.)


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  • Lou Mazz

    The Chinese say, “A fish stinks from the head”. By the way, age has little to do with the problem.

  • David

    Mr. Kempin is very spot-on with his assessment of Ballmer. I made a cold call on Steve a few years ago and pitched “cloud” as the next big thing for Microsoft to consider. Not just cloud in general but a specific way for Microsoft to potentially own a key aspect of the market. He passed me off to some bureaucrat who gave me the runaround; despite an open invitation (that he gave) to reach out to him with new ideas. While he might not be the “problem” at Microsoft, it does not sound like he is the solution either.