Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Employees love Microsoft -- but not Ballmer

22 posts in this topic

Posted

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is a polarizing figure, not just for Microsoft investors but also for the company's employees.

An ongoing survey of more than 1,000 Microsoft employees conducted by Glassdoor.com currently shows that only 51% of Ballmer's staff approve of his performance as CEO.

That's telling, considering that Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) employees said they love the company itself. Microsoft ranked No. 51 on Fortune's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, and the software giant's work force gave the company an average satisfaction score of 3.5 out of 5 in Glassdoor's poll.

But as the head of the company, Ballmer hasn't been able to find the same kind of love and admiration.

Some on Wall Street have been calling for his head for years. Since Ballmer took the reins as CEO from Bill Gates in 2000, Microsoft's stock has been nearly cut in half. Despite this year's strong financial performance and impressive sales of Windows 7, Office 2010 and cloud products for corporate customers, Microsoft's stock has gotten hammered, falling 20%.

Things haven't gotten any better for the embattled CEO lately. Microsoft revealed in a regulatory filing on Friday that Ballmer wouldn't max out his potential bonus this year, because of consumer product failures. The board cited "the unsuccessful launch of the Kin phone, loss of market share in the company's mobile phone business, and the need for the company to pursue innovations to take advantage of new form factors."

But others think that Ballmer's failure to get Microsoft ahead on the devices that will matter most for the future is egregious enough to get Microsoft's board thinking about someone else for the position.

more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Like the article said, he's a polarizing figure, so some will love him and some will hate him. That said, a 49% disapproval from staff is pretty bad for the guy whos supposed to be the company's visionary. I wonder how this would contrast to Gates, back many eons ago when he was in charge?

Oh, and in my eyes, a 3.5 out of 5 for employee satisfaction isn't good, since that works out at a satisfaction of about 65%. Could be worse, but it could be a lot better, and being 51st out of 100 isn't even in the top half of the table. In sports, if a team the size of Microsoft ended up mid-table, the manager would be getting his ass fired.

EDIT: Misread the article, which agrees with my sentiments :p

I think that its probably time to have a reshuffle in management, and that could probably include SB, although he's not entirely to blame. Microsoft just aren't adventurous anymore, releasing (aside from Office 2007 and Windows 4) nothing but "competitive" products since the release of WinXP. Their competitors are eating them alive in many areas simply for the fact that they're willing to take risks, and Microsoft just aren't. This becomes all too apparent when projects like Courier, which, if they ever made it to market, would have blown standard slates out of the market in the business and student markets, gets cancelled. Microsoft are fast becoming the RIM of the PC market: great for businesses, but too boring for consumers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Not really surprising.

Most people don't like adults acting like a teenager.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Not really surprising.

Most people don't like adults acting like a teenager Monkey.

Fixed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I certainly don't like him

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Having seen him in person, I have to say he was passionate, motivated, and truly believed in his company. As a public speaker, he also handled questions, criticisms and his keynote extremely well. Don't really know why anyone hates the guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

haters.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

He may be a bit nutso but at least isn't a smug ****** like Jobs.

2011 fiscal year should be a good one for MS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Bill Gates isn't that old, he's a similar age to Steve Jobs, he should come back to Microsoft. He can still donate his wealth away and work for Microsoft at the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

When he's compared to Jobs he's a saint, but overall I am still not his biggest fan. It has to be said though, whatever he has done internally is working because the slipstreaming of the development process on Windows 7 and Office 2010 has worked wonders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Having seen him in person, I have to say he was passionate, motivated, and truly believed in his company. As a public speaker, he also handled questions, criticisms and his keynote extremely well. Don't really know why anyone hates the guy.

I guess to me I view Bill Gates a visionary. Ballmer seems more of a reactionary. Microsoft is still a great company and I use several of their products, but they don't seem cutting edge anymore, at least to me.

Don't get me wrong, Windows 7 & Office 2010 are rock-solid products. I just haven't been 'wowed' by Microsoft for many years.

They really need the tablet PC or this Slate thing to take off. I want an iPad-like device that can do more of what a regular computer can do. I have no interest in the Windows 7 phone thingy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I saw him talk live a couple of times when I was an intern at Microsoft and he seemed like a smart guy and has actually delivered nice financial results sales and revenue-wise (though the stock has taken a hit).

What he seems to be missing is the actual deep understanding of the technologies and how they can interact that it is claimed that Gates had. Decisions at Microsoft are more related to business than to technology nowadays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I guess to me I view Bill Gates a visionary. Ballmer seems more of a reactionary. Microsoft is still a great company and I use several of their products, but they don't seem cutting edge anymore, at least to me.

Don't get me wrong, Windows 7 & Office 2010 are rock-solid products. I just haven't been 'wowed' by Microsoft for many years.

They really need the tablet PC or this Slate thing to take off. I want an iPad-like device that can do more of what a regular computer can do. I have no interest in the Windows 7 phone thingy.

It's unfortunate you're not interested in Windows Phone 7. MS may be late (back) to the smartphone market, but it's an innovative, fresh, and revolutionary platform. It's certainly cutting edge and has a serious 'wow' factor. If you're written it off for whatever reason, I would seriously advocate keeping an open mind and playing with one (in a store), when it comes out. You will be suitably impressed.

I saw him talk live a couple of times when I was an intern at Microsoft and he seemed like a smart guy and has actually delivered nice financial results sales and revenue-wise (though the stock has taken a hit).

What he seems to be missing is the actual deep understanding of the technologies and how they can interact that it is claimed that Gates had. Decisions at Microsoft are more related to business than to technology nowadays.

That's pretty fair. He has got quite a business background. I think he certainly understands the technologies his company is putting out, he certainly seemed to have a very solid understanding that went beyond reading the executive summary, but Ballmer is a business guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Having worked for Microsoft in the past, I have met Steve Ballmer and seen him quite a few times performing. He is certainly very passionate but that doesn't exactly inspire others. He is just very blunt and aggressive and most people don't like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I would imagine if you conducted a survey of any company, anywhere, and asked it's employees if they liked the CEO or not, that right around 50% of them would say no, if not higher. Sure, there are some obvious exceptions, but employees not liking the head of the company is as classic of a scenario as the poor not liking the rich. It simply is how things are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

While I like what Microsoft has been doing for the past year, I'm not a big fan of Ballmer. He seems to be way too arrogant, but then again, what CEO of a multi-billion dollar company isn't arrogant?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

His main problem is he is just a salesman. In my opinion, the CEO of a company like Microsoft should be at the minimum be a great programmer and at the best he should be a visionary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I guess to me I view Bill Gates a visionary. Ballmer seems more of a reactionary. Microsoft is still a great company and I use several of their products, but they don't seem cutting edge anymore, at least to me.

Don't get me wrong, Windows 7 & Office 2010 are rock-solid products. I just haven't been 'wowed' by Microsoft for many years.

They really need the tablet PC or this Slate thing to take off. I want an iPad-like device that can do more of what a regular computer can do. I have no interest in the Windows 7 phone thingy.

Ballmer has never put himself up as a visionary, he is after all a manager. The people who have the vision are the individual divisions of Microsoft so if there is any blame to go around it is the bad management below Ballmer and the lack of communication between the different divisions so that a coherent integrated product line up comes out the other side.

Microsoft is also a mature company now and they've never put themselves as a 'wizz bang company' - they're the IBM of the software world, reliable, sturdy, middle of the road and reliable. Don't expect them to set the world alight but at the same time they provide enterprise customers what they need and consumers what they lust after. When you consider over a period of around 15 years Windows Vista and Windows ME are about the only let downs in terms of Windows releases, they've done a pretty good job if you ask me. It took Apple at least 3 releases of Mac OS X before it finally became usable and if it weren't for the iPod halo effect and the shift to Intel the momentum wouldn't have continued.

As a customer by the way, I don't care about 'exciting' or 'innovating', I just want things to work - and 9/10, Microsoft does a pretty good job at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I would imagine if you conducted a survey of any company, anywhere, and asked it's employees if they liked the CEO or not, that right around 50% of them would say no, if not higher. Sure, there are some obvious exceptions, but employees not liking the head of the company is as classic of a scenario as the poor not liking the rich. It simply is how things are.

Yes, I agree, but that is a bit different. Steve Ballmer is to the eyes of Microsoft employees just a salesman! He is aggresive, swears a lot and shows not enough qualities for someone in his position. Compared to Bill Gates he stands no chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

His main problem is he is just a salesman. In my opinion, the CEO of a company like Microsoft should be at the minimum be a great programmer and at the best he should be a visionary.

possibly Steven Sinofsky ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Having seen him in person, I have to say he was passionate, motivated, and truly believed in his company. As a public speaker, he also handled questions, criticisms and his keynote extremely well. Don't really know why anyone hates the guy.

That's my opinion too. I've never really understood the hate for Steve Ballmer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

That's my opinion too. I've never really understood the hate for Steve Ballmer.

it's not so much as hate as it is frustration with the status quo of the company. as mentioned previously he's a business/sales guy. between quality and sales volume, he gives preference to sales volume, and the only reason he's able to pull off the sales volume is because of the predominant usage of office and windows in most of the world. maybe it's not a fair comparison but if you were to give jobs and ballmer same amount of money to run a business from scratch, you'd see the following scenario -

both would pay someone else to create a product (neither can do it themselves)

- jobs would spend the time sprucing up the aesthetics and then charge the customer a premium for that

- ballmer would do the bare minimum to keep the costs down then offer discounts to customers to entice them.

i don't think it's necessary for the CEO to be a programmer (examples: steve jobs, eric schmidt), but more than technology, they need to have an understanding of what WORKS for the consumer, which is usability with minimal learning curve, and aesthestics as a bonus.

microsoft has a ton of money, a ton of resources. they spend ~$8 billion on R&D alone whereas apple spends closer to $800 million. the problem is that the company is so disconnected internally that all the 'visionary' R&D that's done rarely goes beyond concepts (RIP courier), and you end up with same old crap with another look (Kin). ballmer doesn't seem to GET this fact...'coz ultimately he's driven by sales. gates was better in the sense that he was a visionary for the sake of functionality, ballmer doesn't even have that. and what steve jobs has that both seem to lack is the 'consumer mindset' - how to make something that a consumer would want to buy and use, so much that they'll pay a premium for it.

anyhow, point of the rant was...ballmer maybe passionate about the company, he just doesn't know where to take it. as mentioned earlier, he's a reactionary CEO, not a visionary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.