Report: Ballmer likely to resign from Microsoft board when new CEO announced

Kara Swisher has broken much of the news surrounding Microsoft's ongoing CEO search, and today she's revealed another new aspect of the company's organization when the search is complete: Current CEO Steve Ballmer is likely to step down from Microsoft's board of directors when the new CEO is announced.

In an article published today at Re/code, Swisher states that "people familiar with the situation also expect Ballmer to step down as a director when the new CEO is named." That news comes in the face of previous reports that Ford CEO Alan Mulally dropped out of the race partly because of Ballmer's influence on the board

Additionally, Swisher claims "it goes without saying" that "those closest to Ballmer" will also be gone when a new CEO is announced. Board members commonly leave companies or are forced out following organizational upheaval, especially when top executives also serve on the board. It's likely a new chief executive would attempt to put board members in place more amiable to his or her view of the company.

Beyond the information about Ballmer, Swisher reiterates that Bill Gates should be much more visible at Microsoft going forward, a point she brought up Jan. 8 in her last update of the CEO search. Swisher also states that an announcement regarding the new CEO will likely be made "toward the end of this month at the earliest."

Source: Re/code | Image via Microsoft

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I don't see this happening unless gates is as rumored going to take a greater role. Ballmer loves MSFT too much and certainly, as the #2 shareholder soon to be #1, it is his duty to protect his investment. Certainly the board can't force him out given any court would agree with him that he should have a seat.

1. They need to significantly upgrade and integrate their cloud services directly into the operating system.

When you rebuild your computer, it's from the internet using the latest deployment image. Once booted, it's fully patched from the off.

File > Save should link into skydrive with the option of sharing with other skydrive users (come on MS!!) When you go into your skydrive folder, you can see files shared with you (not stupid URLs)

2. £50 MS media streamer. I don't want a £400 xbox, or a HTPC in my front room so I can listen to music from my unlimited music subscription, or watch a rented movie on a PC device. If it had an audio out to my music system that would be great as well. Thinking about this, it could even have a USB port and be compatible with webcams for skype.

They need to entice people over to their ecosystem

3. ok I'm gonna say it. bring back the start menu. You hear so many people complain about how apple force you into doing it their way. guess what MS, you are doing the same. Give people a choice. so what if loads of people love the start screen, great for them. Nobody is saying remove the start screen, they just want the CHOICE!

try this

open a notepad file containing complex VPN settings and create a VPN tunnel. Do this on a windows 7 machine, and then on a windows 8 one. Count how many steps each OS takes you. You'll find windows 7 is significantly quicker/easier

Windows 8 has some great features (love Hyper-V) but it still feels built on top of the old problems which never get fixed, or improved.

4. I've been thinking about this one for a while........and that's there is so much technology packed into an operating system, with a billion options what most people havent got a clue about. Right from the off, it asks you to create an account with a load of options you can tick or untick. How about (and this goes for other areas of the OS). Have a button which explains why you might want to enable/disable that feature.

I had this today at work (ok it was about a mac, but same principal). We have a guy who had just got a mac laptop. He was setting it all up and it asked him to setup his keychain. He clicked on no. You know why, because he didn't know what it was. Why can't they have a button which takes you to an online video, or something to explain what it is and how to use it.

signed / master troll

Edited by glen8, Jan 20 2014, 3:35pm :

Bill Gates should either come back as CEO and save the company he created (at least for a few years), or he should just give up totally and resign from the board.

Saex_Conroy said,
i still dont get it how come the real life al bundy managed to become a ceo at microsoft and keep it for so many years

I never realized Ballmer once scored 4 touchdowns in one game.

This is additional good news.

Microsoft needs to follow Gate's vision, not the technologically ignorant profit model that Ballmer promoted.

This report doesn't make any sense. The board has more power than the CEO, and the CEO works for the board - which represents shareholders. A CEO doesn't come in and reorganize the board; rather it is the board which stipulates the goals for the organization, and the CEO comes up with a plan to execute the organization's goals.

Swisher is a MS hater, and this is just wishful thinking / hoping on her part. If anything, I expect should there come a time when Bill Gates resigns as chairman, Steve Ballmer will assume the position. MS' enemies keep trying to push the idea that Ballmer is one of the worst CEOs, when in fact, he is one of the best CEOs ever in tech; steadfastly delivering increasing profits for MS over the years. It is not the job of the CEO to ensure the rise of the price of a company's stock. It is the job of the market, to assess the company's value, and so far the market has done a terrible job, acting on rumors instead of assessing the company's numbers.

The company needs to stay the course, not be shaken up. In fact I expect the numbers for the last quarter to be stellar. The above rumor is simply rubbish.

Microsoft isn't short on talent... Never will be... It's the corporate bull that goes on that's holding them back... Microsoft RD dept, makes things that Google (who is no slouch at innovation) and Apple can only dream about...

Microsoft "Suits" has to stop being a stumbling block.,,

They indeed need new breed of talents but there's always pros and cons. Nevertheless, I'm hoping for a brighter future for Microsoft.

Hethler said,
They indeed need new breed of talents but there's always pros and cons. Nevertheless, I'm hoping for a brighter future for Microsoft.
Same here! I've been a big fan of Microsoft since the 80's. Some of their products made me scratch my head in disbelief. With the launch of Windows 8, I didn't scratch my head, the release gave me a full blown migraine. I'm hoping change at the top end will bring amazing products in the future.

Personally, I think an outsider with no technology background will destroy the company. So I hope it's someone like Tony Bates or Terry Myerson. People with a personal attachment to the company and a technological background.

Microsoft needs to get this right, and I believe they're actually on the right track now. If they start selling things off and changing course then that may be the end of them.

cybersaurusrex said,
Personally, I think an outsider with no technology background will destroy the company. So I hope it's someone like Tony Bates or Terry Myerson. People with a personal attachment to the company and a technological background.

Microsoft needs to get this right, and I believe they're actually on the right track now. If they start selling things off and changing course then that may be the end of them.


There's been no indication that Myerson is in the running -- several reports have specifically said he's not being considered. The main internal candidates right now appear to be Nadella, Bates and Elop (when the Nokia deal is finalized), in that order.

I disagree. Microsoft needed a fresh approach about 10 years ago. Now, I think they're on the right course and need to stick with it. If they abandon what they're doing now... after fighting so hard for Windows Phone and Metro... then what's the point of any of us sticking with Microsoft anymore?

If they start selling off Xbox and Bing and Skype... then, that's it... I'm done with Microsoft.

cybersaurusrex said,
I disagree. Microsoft needed a fresh approach about 10 years ago. Now, I think they're on the right course and need to stick with it. If they abandon what they're doing now... after fighting so hard for Windows Phone and Metro... then what's the point of any of us sticking with Microsoft anymore?

If they start selling off Xbox and Bing and Skype... then, that's it... I'm done with Microsoft.

No company the size of Microsoft has seen as much negative backlash over two huge products in such a short time. Their Xbox One launch and Windows 8. Whether they're good/bad can be debated until the end of time. But no one can ignore all the negative press they got. That alone shows that Microsoft needs reshuffling. Just because you are profitable doesn't mean you shouldn't learn from past mistakes.

And this is why Microsoft didn't learn. With 360 we had the RROD. So their end console needed to be flawless at launch in every aspect. And it wasn't...it made many mad and Microsoft went backwards with some promising technologies.

With their OS, we had Vista, which failed to get people off XP and then 7 which, even though it's amazing, didn't have enough time to get people to upgrade from XP. Microsoft needed Windows 8 to be much more amazing than 7 to get it back on track.

And again, whether their products are good or bad can be debated forever. They work for some and others want old versions back. But one thing that cannot be ignore is the Ammount of negative feedback they got from a lot of users.

you can say all about the negative press and how people doesnt like Windows 8;
the facts are different, Xbox has selling records, Windows 8 is growing in a steady and healthy margin, Windows Phone market share is growing, and plus, there numbers are even better than ever!

stevan said,

No company the size of Microsoft has seen as much negative backlash over two huge products in such a short time. Their Xbox One launch and Windows 8. Whether they're good/bad can be debated until the end of time. But no one can ignore all the negative press they got. That alone shows that Microsoft needs reshuffling. Just because you are profitable doesn't mean you shouldn't learn from past mistakes.

And this is why Microsoft didn't learn. With 360 we had the RROD. So their end console needed to be flawless at launch in every aspect. And it wasn't...it made many mad and Microsoft went backwards with some promising technologies.

With their OS, we had Vista, which failed to get people off XP and then 7 which, even though it's amazing, didn't have enough time to get people to upgrade from XP. Microsoft needed Windows 8 to be much more amazing than 7 to get it back on track.

And again, whether their products are good or bad can be debated forever. They work for some and others want old versions back. But one thing that cannot be ignore is the Ammount of negative feedback they got from a lot of users.

Your whole basis is on W8 and the One... Lol... Check Microsoft arsenal of patents, and government contracts, and 90% or so of the worlds ATM machines using Xp, and the cash cow known as Office (and 365 for that matter)
Yes the Social Network world of today makes you stick out...


I will agree that Microsoft needs someone that has penchant for "consumer geek'ism" as well as the private sector...

Microsoft is trying to do the right thing, by trying to usher in a 64bit/128bit world that should have happened years ago.
W8 does NOT suck from a performance perspective... There are those who hate the aesthetics, though... Aesthetics and performance are 2 different things. W8 is better than W7 in every way under the hood (and I am extremely biased towards W7)

And Xbox will be fine... You judging the next 8+ yrs on the 3months it's been on store shelves... If 80million 360's have been sold despite the RRoD, I wouldn't be too worried about the One...

stevan said,

7 which, even though it's amazing, didn't have enough time to get people to upgrade from XP
Just how many more years did you expect XP users to be given before they finally decided to move to Windows 7? And for that matter where is Windows 7 going? Most XP users have updated to it already and plenty more will continue to do so in future when they eventually decide to move on, especially if they continue to reject Windows 8. For heaven's sake, we even have HP and others now selling new systems with Windows 7 installed. So what are you on about there not being enough time or opportunity for XP users to upgrade? Where have they all been living so far these past few years, under a rock?

Patmore Douglas said,
Why do haters keep hanging around pro-Microsoft sites. Why don't you get a life, or go spew your negativity somewhere else.

So if someone disagree with your opinion is a "hater" What a Cromwellian attitude....

Patmore Douglas said,
Why do haters keep hanging around pro-Microsoft sites. Why don't you get a life, or go spew your negativity somewhere else.
So pointing out a fault in a company makes one a hater? I've been supporting Microsoft's products for 20 years, yet I am very outspoken about their failed launched of Windows 8. I call it like I see it. That attitude from consumers is what keeps companies on their toes. This is a Microsoft technology website. It is not a website that praises everything they do. We all have different opinions about their products and there is nothing wrong with voicing your opinion in a respectful manner.

cybersaurusrex said,
I disagree. Microsoft needed a fresh approach about 10 years ago. Now, I think they're on the right course and need to stick with it. If they abandon what they're doing now... after fighting so hard for Windows Phone and Metro... then what's the point of any of us sticking with Microsoft anymore?

If they start selling off Xbox and Bing and Skype... then, that's it... I'm done with Microsoft.

it was because of windows 8, metro, phone etc etc that I left Microsoft

nobody can say I never gave it a chance either, after a year of owning a windows 8 pc, 8.1 laptop, numerous tablets inc RT and Pro and a works Nokia W8 phone. Just had enough of it to be honest. That's not to say I won't ever come back, but it's not for me at the minute.

So you'll come back to Microsoft when? When they put Windows 7 on a phone? lol

Please, Metro is a brilliant idea, but it was waylaid by the OEMs not having compelling hardware ready and also for the hardware being over-priced (which is still a bit of a problem... though improving).

Microsoft's problem is that it was late to "modern mobile" (meaning, touch)... and they had to play catch-up. But I actually think Windows 8 is a few steps ahead of Android and iOS--at least as a concept. As others have pointed out, the problem with Windows 8 was execution--like forcing desktop users to the Metro screen when they didn't really need it. But on touchscreen devices, Windows 8 is fantastic, and Microsoft would be completely stupid to abandon it.

Should they tweak it? Yes, absolutely. Should they beef up the apps? Again, yes, desperately. But if they abandon it, then they're abandoning mobile... and that would be deadly for Microsoft.

Fritzly said,

So if someone disagree with your opinion is a "hater" What a Cromwellian attitude....

LOL....................... I happen to work in a town called Cromwell....

cybersaurusrex said,
So you'll come back to Microsoft when? When they put Windows 7 on a phone? lol

lol, i dont think id ever come back then

cybersaurusrex said,

Please, Metro is a brilliant idea, but it was waylaid by the OEMs not having compelling hardware ready and also for the hardware being over-priced...

Except that most complains against Windows 8 is about "how it look", not "how much it costs" or "what hardware it comes on". Believe it or not the vast majority of complains against Windows 8 is about Metro. But nice try.

That bit about "Alan Mulally dropped out of the race partly because of Ballmer's influence on the board" sounds strange considering Ballmer's influence was what probably got him in prime position on the candidate's list in the first place. Ballmer also has said he consulted with Mulally a lot, so one would assume the latter would love to have the former advocating for him with the rest of the board. I think it was just some reporter's overactive imagination, unless Mulally said something specific (which would be unlikely)? Anyway, now that Mulally's out of the race (he was too old anyway) this is probably a good idea since Ballmer is unlikely to share the same equation with the other external candidates.

Romero said,
That bit about "Alan Mulally dropped out of the race partly because of Ballmer's influence on the board" sounds strange considering Ballmer's influence was what probably got him in prime position on the candidate's list in the first place. Ballmer also has said he consulted with Mulally a lot, so one would assume the latter would love to have the former advocating for him with the rest of the board. Anyway, now that Mulally's out of the race (he was too old anyway) this is probably a good idea since Ballmer is unlikely to share the same equation with the other candidates.

Yup, we wrote that as well

Ballmer's still going to be influential no doubt, not just because of the position he held (holds) but also because he's due to become the largest individual shareholder sometime this year given Bill sticks to his stock sell-off plans to fund his foundation.