Steve Ballmer gets worst CEO dishonor, Microsoft facing RIM’s fate

Steve Ballmer gets worst CEO dishonor, Microsoft facing RIM’s fate
Microsoft’s chief executive Steve Ballmer is the most outspoken tech company CEO we can think of, he’s probably the weirdest presenter, and might top the list in other personal traits, but when it comes to managing a tech company, Forbes has just said that he’s the worst. Named the worst CEO of any large publicly traded American company, Ballmer will go down in history for his inadequate reaction to the iPhone, and for turning a blind eye to the booming mobile industry. 

His failure to turn the Microsoft machine around quicker with an answer to iOS and Android is what got him the negative rating by Forbes, as the publication considers that a more insightful person would have been a better fit for the role of a chief executive after Bill Gates.

What’s even more troubling is the assessment of Microsoft’s current state that is compared to RIM’s current tragic situation, as well as other companies in decline like Best Buy and American Airlines.

“Best he be retired to enjoy his fortune rather than deprive investors and employees of building theirs,” Hartung concludes bringing up an interesting question. On the other hand, we’d argue that too radical changes could also hurt the Windows and Office maker, much like Nokia’s drastic change of course contributed to the quicker decling of Symbian. What’s your opinion of Ballmer, should he stay or should he go?

source: Forbes via BGR



1. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Its true that Ballmer is a terrible CEO, Microsoft's tactic since him is to spend, spend, spend until it makes a profit. No real strategy other than bullying itself into a market. Eventually they will run out of capital to do this though, so then they will need a REAL businessman.

10. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

indeed, people like argue with me about that but windows current mobile percent is due all the burnt money they have thrown, and yet is till super low. they LOST lots of time, they should have worked on developing WP faster than what they did. they cant compete with the evolution of both android and iOS, with their update schedule. I even invented a new meaning "A Ballmer: Wen someones tries to enforce success and fails"

52. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I have been saying this for the past few years...MS waited too long to try to answer the iPhone. They waited too long to go to capacitive screens. After playing with an iPhone in 2008....I was gonna get one JUST for the capacitive screen. That and I thought Verizon service was getting bad. Turned out it was my Android was also an unexpected obstacle they didnt plan on.

67. PhoneLuver

Posts: 481; Member since: Jul 05, 2010

You're 100% correct! The iPhone coup can totally be blamed on the capacitive touch screen! Before 2008 almost everybody who was somebody at my company used Windows Mobile, Now I doubt you'd find ONE using Windows Phone!

28. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

MS is like America: The Company! (Even though America ran out of capital years ago...)

33. torr310

Posts: 1679; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

He is as good as Nokia's Stephon Elop.

34. steelicon

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 02, 2011

You can say the same for Stephen Elop, current Nokia CEO. They spend way too much but gain so little. At least Steve Ballmer did not kill his own products. IMO, both Stephen Elop and Steve Ballmer should go.

51. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Well, Steve B. did kill Windows Mobile, but immediately followed it up with Windows Phone. On a similar note, Steve E. killed Symbian, and immediately followed it up with... wait for it... Windows Phone!

71. AndroidShiz

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

Elop is a blind loyalist. "I see the cliff set before me, and I do have options and brakes, the best of what money can buy actually. But I'm best friends with Microsoft because some of us used to work there, and I'm showing my true friendship by going over. Sure, my buddy Microsoft will still be there, since they packed a parachute, but they will remember and honor us long after we've been smoked by Windows."

61. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

but unfortunately they will still have plenty of bucks from governments' bribes, manufacturers bribes and from private companies. here are the facts how they earn money: ps: this is not off topic, just to explain how Microsoft earn money

2. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

He maybe the worst CEO, however Windows 8 is going to be a great OS and the Xbox 360 is a great console.

4. windowsRocks

Posts: 155; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

Even MS is not confident about it. How could you be??

7. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Hmm, the Xbox was actually Bill Gates baby, Ballmer wasn't heading MS before the XBOX launched. Windows 8, is nothing but a simple revolution of Windows. Before MS gets too far down the tubes, he'll be removed trust me on that, just like Elop's days are numbered, so is this guys if he doesn't turn MS fortunes around and start making investors happy. Might be too late for MS in the mobile phone arena, but they might be able to do something in the tablet arena as Google hasn't put the high octane fuel in yet, but if they miss it MS will be in a very sorry state.

3. windowsRocks

Posts: 155; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

Microsoft can survive only if Bill Gates joins the company again....LOL

12. jamrockjones

Posts: 345; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Microsoft isn't going anywhere for a while. The only real competition is Apple and their products are way to expensive and don't offer enough variety. But I do agree with the article, this man is waaaaaay to much talk and toooooo much stupid action. It ticks me off when he bashes on Android. It seems like they just bash other OS's because there isn't enough to promote about there's. And I hate their mobile marketing right now, the whole "every other smartphone was simply a beta or test mobile" is a joke. Ya, that's right, Android is the beta and WP is the real deal, and that's why they hold less than 2% of the market.

37. steelicon

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 02, 2011

Agreed! And has no native Bluetooth transfers, no native HDMI, no native microSD, no native mass storage, and the list goes on and on. Frankly speaking, the dull tool Symbian, not even considering the Belle FP1, is way more feature-packed in terms of hardware and I/O, yes, even the cluttered S60V3/V5 S^1/2/3! Going with Windows Phone 7.5 is like undergoing the Dark Ages!

50. tward291

Posts: 559; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

first off neither android nor ios had all that out the window so calm down things will come in time. its a nice os does everything i need it to do pretty well. i am just a student at the moment but it handles all my work great and i love the fact i can type a paper at last minute on my phone and email it before that midnite deadline.

5. tward291

Posts: 559; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

microsoft is not getting rid of zune there just rebranding it. i dont like that idea either but thats a fact. and how is microsoft facing rims fate unless you mean in the mobile space i might be able to see that but that is a far cry. as a company there far from that with the xbox brand and pc os i dont see that. sometimes i wonder why phonearena rights about some of the stupides sh-t i mean come on the title makes it seem as though you have evidence that there done cant compete on any field WOW what a cluster Fu0k


Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Totally agree... he took uncle Bill's empire and destroyed it. Except for xbox, no compelling products that can match Apple or Google. Win 8? maybe, I guess time will tell but it's been a rough 10plus years for sure

24. profperez1

Posts: 76; Member since: May 08, 2012

I think Gates was able to build a company on people buy boxes from MS for $500+. When that paradigm became outdated---he left. As for the MS business plan of the last 10 years----100% typical of a large American company. Don't change until you collapse. Here is my in text citation. (Mot, 2007) and (YAHOO, 2004?). The good news for MS. They have a "gagilion" dollars to make rapid change. Starting in Nov-----1M Windows phones will get activated each week. That number will double in 2013.

8. tward291

Posts: 559; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

i do agree they do need a new CEO please bill come back lol

30. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

I wish he could come back aslo. but he's too busy giving and taking time to charity.

9. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

no wonder ppl want to punch him so bad

11. Iphone4 unregistered

i just dont like WP7 or 7.5

38. steelicon

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 02, 2011

It's like taking a watchamacallit? Zune? Then slapping a phone on it. That's it. WP7.5 = ZUNE PHONE.

44. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

It worked for the iphone. iphone = ipod + phone module

55. steelicon

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 02, 2011

Zune to iPod = Playing catch up. WP7.5 to iPhone = Playing catch up. Symbian to others = Reference to most OS.

13. akita256

Posts: 98; Member since: Jan 26, 2012

He and the CEO's of RIM and Nokia all need to go!! I've never seen any CEO's that were less responsive to the competition around them and unwilling to even acknowledge it.

39. axllebeer

Posts: 272; Member since: Apr 05, 2011

The CEO's of RIM did go, and it was much needed. They are at least trying to turn things around. For them, might be too late to pull back lost customers, but finally with the new CEO, the pace of change is picking up for the better.

14. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i dont agree with this assessment. Was Balmer a little late in reacting to the new evolution/revolution of mobile OS's? Absolutely. Does he come across as a bit of a jackass? Absolutely. Is he the worst CEO? Absolutely not. He is no where near a Basille or any other of these bumbling moron CEOs that destroyed their companies and refused to see the light or get out of the way. Balmer is head of one of the world's largest companies that has a multi armed approach much like samsung. They are NOT just a PC company. That is their bread n butter, yes, but it is not the only thing they do. BTW, how are they doing as a PC company? I'd say pretty well since they still dominate the market for PCs and Laptops. Office faces extreme competititon for the first time in its life and its still on top by wide margins. The xbox360 is a mega success unlike its predecessor which never made MS a dime. MS is still positive billions and billions in cashflow. Oh yea, and they have all that Sync stuff going on with Ford and other companies, getting MS to help control your daily drive. Many of those markets their mobile competitors like Apple and Google dont even exist in, so to say that Balmer is the worst CEO of all time because of a flop on mobile products, is RIDICULOUS. Windows Mobile hasnt been a big player in what 5 or 6 years? It was having issues long before iOS and Android came out.. they just hurried up its death. It hasnt been a big part of MS's coffers in a long time, if ever. To those that whine about how much MS is spending now on WP7, I say look back at the original xbox. Their gaming division was in the red the entire time because they were selling Xboxes at loss to keep them competitive and advertising the heck out of it. The OG xbox was awesome, but it lost handily to the PS2. They then debut the Xbox360 and now they went from over a 100million sales deficit to its competitor, to being the #1 non-Wii system in the world. To draw a direct parallel. WP7 is costing them lots of money and they are selling it for less than they are making on it while advertising the heck out of it directly or indirectly through Nokia. When WP8 drops with features like desktop compatibility, the fact that its going to be on EVERY MS product from desktops,laptops, the next Xbox, tablets, and phones, its all but garunteed to be a massive success if it works well at all. You guys need to quit being so darn short sited and having all these knee jerk reactions. Do a little history with the company your condemning and realize its all part of the game plan. WP7 is the well made loss leader that is the lead in for WP8 to be a sales success. a few years ago we saw the domination of RIM and the extreme rise of iOS. Then we saw the fall of rim and the extreme rise of Android. In 2013 unless the i5 is a big big game changer, we will see the fall of iOS and the rise of WP8.

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