(Reuters) - Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is not the right leader for the world's largestsoftware company but holds his grip on it by systematically forcing out any rising manager who challenges his authority, claims a former senior executive who has written a book about his time at the company.
"For Microsoft to really get back in the game seriously, you need a big change in management," said Joachim Kempin, who worked at Microsoft between 1983 and 2002, overseeing the sales of Windows software to computer makers for part of that time. "As much as I respect Steve Ballmer, he may be part of that in the end."
As a senior vice president in charge of a crucial part of the company'sbusiness with direct access to co-founder Bill Gates, Kempin is the most senior former Microsoft executive to write a book critical of the company, which is famous for the loyalty of its ex-employees.
His criticism echoes that of investor David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, who called for Ballmer to step down in 2011.