Steve Ballmer was forced out of his CEO chair by Microsoft's board of directors, who hit the roof when the company took a $900 million write-off to account for an oversupply of the firm's struggling Surface RT tablet, an analyst argued today.
"He was definitely pushed out by the board," said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, in an interview Friday. "They either drove him out, or put him in a situation where he felt he had to leave to save face."
The biggest clue that Ballmer was pushed and didn't leave of his own free will was the 12-month timetable Microsoft said it would use to find a CEO successor. "Typically, a board will be working behind the scenes for a replacement, but they've given themselves 12 months," said Moorhead. "I think this went down very quickly."