back to article Hey, Bill Gates! We've found 14 IT HOTSHOTS to be the next Steve Ballmer

Now for that question everybody's asking: who will be the new Microsoft chief exec once Steve Ballmer slips into retirement by next year? The software giant's co-founder and chairman Bill Gates, fellow company board member John Thompson and executive recruitment agency Heidrick & Struggles are tasked with cracking that puzzler …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Paul Leigh

    An obvious choice

    If they don't choose Kevin Turner (current COO) then they really have, royally, lost their way.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. NightFox

      Re: An obvious choice

      Don't know about that - with Ballmer going so many people are crying out for a technologist to replace him, rather than a businessman. Some say that MS's problems of the last decade have been down to being driven by short-term financial performance rather than longer-term technological promise. KT can certainly run the business, but has he got this vision to put MS back where it was under Gates?

      1. Paul Leigh

        Re: An obvious choice

        Thats a fair point @Nightfox but the buying masses, esp the corporates don't buy from technologists (in fact often they are put off from the hardcore tech chaps/chapettes), they buy into the N year roadmap and from what I've seen, KT can sell whatever he's pushing. He seems very credible to me.

        Maybe the job is just too big for a single person to span the needs of such a large organisation. Can't please all the people all the time and all that.

        1. Thomas Whipp

          Re: An obvious choice

          which does beg the question - is the answer to break MS up? (and thats a business question not a monopoly one)

          1. NightFox

            Re: An obvious choice

            Yes, interesting - maybe you need the consumer-orientated side to be led by a Gates/Jobs type visionary, and the business customer-focused side of MS put in the hands of a traditional CEO.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: An obvious choice

              >the consumer-orientated side to be led by a Gates/Jobs type visionary, and the business customer-focused side of MS put in the hands of a traditional CEO.

              Which would imply that the actual CEO needs to be someone who can handle the obvious conflicts between these two heads to keep everyone going in the same direction and reassure the market/investors. So perhaps they need to look outside of IT...

    3. plrndl

      Re: An obvious choice

      Now that Elop's nearly finished destroying Nokia, surely he's the ideal person to complete Balmer's job of destroying MS?

    4. Spearchucker Jones

      Re: An obvious choice

      Kevin Turner is not a good choice. I say that as an ex-Microsoft employee. He signs all his emails off with "Thank you for all that you do." *Almost* as patronising as Dick Brown's email sign-off "And remember.... Action, urgency, excellence!"

      Anyway, Kevin Turner is not liked internally at Microsoft. He's a poor fit, not least because he's not a techie, and understands Microsoft's market even less than Ballmer does.

      Microsoft needs someone that understands that *all* OS's (WinRT, Windows, Windows Server and Windows Phone) need to be on the same release cycle. The next thing Microsoft needs is ONE coherent strategy for dev. That means merging VBA, .NET, Silverlight for Windows Phone and Windows Runtime. It also means coalescing Windows Forms, WPF and Silverlight into a common UI framework.

      That said, I've no idea how they're going to do that last one. GDI/DGI+ uses direct rendering, and Silverlight/WPF uses delayed rendering via DirectX (hardware acceleration). In a perfect world, whatever Microsoft come up with will mix hardware acceleration with WinForms' event-driven model.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: An obvious choice

        The battling business units are MSFTs big problem - and the reason Win8 failed.

        When your main app, MS-Office doesn't use any of the features of your new OS because they had their own release schedule and your main dev tool doesn't make it easy (or even possible) to write apps using your new interface because their manager doesn't like the other manager - you are screwed.

        You can't picture this happening under Jobs - imagine iPhone not working with iTunes because of a sulking minion !

      2. Snark

        Re: An obvious choice

        Oh god, you had to remind me of Dick Brown's emails and... the... everpresent... ...'s

        It just goes to remind me how badly someone can screw up a company.

    5. bloglast

      Re: An obvious choice

      They don't need a new CEO, they need design group or reopen the one they shut down and focus on the aesthetics of their UI and hardware. Basically they need a Jonathan Ive and a boat load of talented designers. What if Ballmer had convinced Gates not to kill the the Courier Tablet? I still think it is not too late and they should bring back the original team to work on it.

  2. hammarbtyp

    Oooh, Ooooh

    Me, me, me. I'll do it.

    I'm cheap too. I only want a Million a year

    1. Adam 1

      Re: Oooh, Ooooh

      I am afraid we have already found the guy. His name, is Eadon.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gabe Newell

    Ex Microsoft employee who hates Windows 8, and founded and runs a company worth billions. Perfect.

    1. Smallbrainfield

      Re: Gabe Newell

      He'll pass. The conditions of his contract stipulate delivery of Half Life 3 before the end of the century.

      1. Yet Another Commentard

        Re: Gabe Newell

        He was first on my list - ex MSFT, "gets" the IT space, delivered a liked DRM-esque delivery system (Steam), grasps the presentation to the consumer, "the cloud", obviously he gets games, and how to deliver software as a service. Mobile is the weak spot, which is a BIG problem as MSFT needs to nail that, which is something it has consistently failed to do.

        Also, not actively hostile to Linux and open source. Chair throwing ability unknown.

        The only problem is I'd like to see a new to MSFT person, free of the constraints of the past take this up.

        Picking internal is too stagnating. Look down the coast at Cupertino, Tim Cook is Apple through and through, and is doing a really average job there (not yet Ballmeresque, but it's still early days). He seems to just "expand via lawyers" rather than doing something new. All he's done is keep the Jobs status quo (insert your own "whatever you want" joke in here), not made it a Cookian Cult; Apple has stagnated under him. As I said, not as actively damaging as Ballmer, but stagnation.

  4. deadlockvictim

    Microsoft is a Server and OS company

    I don't really care who takes over the helm at Microsoft as long as the new person realises that Microsoft is primarily an OS and Server company.

    The new person needs to get the company to focus on these two areas and needs to be able to see the company's products from the perspective of the user.

    This, I believe, was Steve Jobs' great gift. He saw himself as the User and all products had to impress him. Since he set his standards quite high, what impressed him, impressed many others too. The new Microsoft CEO needs to be able to place him or herself in the position of the typical developer, home-user, DBA, office worker and build products that people would choose of their own accord, rather than be told to use them.

    1. dogged

      Re: Microsoft is a Server and OS company

      I thought Jobs' thing was marketing, which is slightly different from Sales.

      In sales, you only lie to one person at a time. Ballmer is an expert at sales but Jobs could lie to the whole world.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft is a Server and OS company

        Seeing yourself as a demanding user is marketing, not sales.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft is a Server and OS company

      It doesn't matter what MS is at the moment. What matters is a CEO that understands that MS has to become something else.

      Computing for the masses has moved from the PC to the tablet and the smartphone. Does MS want to be on those markets ?

      Gaming is mostly done on consoles. Building games is expensive and risky, successes are few and far between. Does MS want to stay on that market ?

      Business and servers are the top-of-the-line margin makers, but the Cloud is capable of eating MS's lunch. Ironically, it's MS's fault already, since Office is doing everything it can to move people away from PCs (where it sells Windows) to the Cloud (where it doesn't). I see a disconnect there, one that MS will pay for dearly in the years to come. Either that or MS has already understood that the PC is a dead dodo (for the mass market that is) and tablets are the future.

      Come to think of it, that explains a lot about the Start button issue.

      Servers are where its at, margin-wise, but MS already has plenty of healthy competition there.

      No, I'm sorry, but any way I look at it, MS as it was is finished. It is time to boldly go . . . somewhere. The choice of CEO is going to be a very interesting one for a lot of people.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Microsoft is a Server and OS company

      What this man says. Well said @deadlockvictim

    4. dajames

      Re: Microsoft is a Server and OS company

      I don't really care who takes over the helm at Microsoft as long as the new person realises that Microsoft is primarily an OS and Server company.

      OSs and servers is what Microsoft have traditionally done -- and Office, I suppose -- but the world is changing and those things may not be enough. MS have seen the success that others, notably Apple, have had selling media as well as apps through an online 'store', and they want some of that pie. They may need to have some of that pie to survive.

      The question is whether they can change their business to cash in on that new market without losing their place in their traditional markets and so losing the loyalty of their customers.

      They've been moving in that direction for some time -- adding baked-in DRM to Windows in Vista, adding a store in Windows 8, and making that store common to Windows on x86 and on ARM (hence TIFKAM) -- but doing so SO badly and managing to piss off just about everyone.

      They couldn't find their way forward under Ballmer, but maybe someone else can manage to do so (I can't say that it looks all that hard).

  5. dogged


    Rudder also passed on purchase of Rational tools, leaving the way clear for IBM to gobble the software maker.

    Bloody good thing, too. TFS is so much better than ClearCase, it's not even funny. I don't want to start any internet nerdwars here and this may be the absolute worst kind of heresy but....

    even SourceSafe is better than ClearCase.

    There. I said it.

    And it's true. Okay so SourceSafe doesn't know about things like branching, labelling or not being a steaming pile of shit but at least when it eats your code never to return it, it doesn't claim that you never had any code to begin with.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Rational?

      Comment has all the earmarks of someone who couldn't be arsed to RTFM.

      1. dogged

        Re: Rational?

        o rly?

        Clearcase is an awful, awful product. (I actually typoed "prodfuct" there for a moment, which is accurate). It is so fucking awful that nobody serious uses it anymore outside IBM itself. It is clunky. It integrates badly with IDEs. It refuses to play ball with pretty much anything except Rose, even including Robot and XDE from the same alleged product suite.

        Anyone who cared about source control switched to SVN and then further to TFS or git, depending on their platform. These days, you can even use TFS for all the project management gubbins and git for source control, seamlessly in VS.

        Anyone who uses clearcase and claims to be serious about source control is a liar.

  6. QdK

    Another candidate...

    Rick Belluzzo! I'd love to see that happen!

    1. Smoking Man

      Re: Another candidate...

      Oh, Belluzo already served MS for while.. I think just shortly after leaving HP? Well, at least MSFT recovered from Rick quickly. I don't think he'd be a real candidate, but you never know.. Speaking of HP, well, did anybody mention Leo Apotheker already? A software guy, and most likely available directly now.

      Last, but not least, the folks whose heads more or less got chopped at HP recently, Todd Bradley or Dave Donatelli?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How the world changes

    Paint me Sid Sexist but I was surprised (and pleased - honest) at the number of ladies in the list. The US seems to be a long way ahead of British business, when it comes to closing the gender gap. What? A woman? In charge of Microsoft, you say?

    1. dogged

      Re: How the world changes

      Not a bad idea, but not Ms! Mayer! please.

      Taking her seriously would indicate a need to take Yahoo! seriously, which is not an option.

    2. Michael Habel

      Re: How the world changes

      Just when you thought Windows couldn't get more pastel then 8...

    3. Ted Treen

      Re: How the world changes

      "...What? A woman? In charge of Microsoft, you say?..."

      If she can pass the furniture-throwing test, who's going to stand in her way?

      1. RonWheeler

        Re: How the world changes

        She seems to pass the test of basic decision making.

        Spot problems.

        Fix them.

        And strangely it seems to work.

        A bit like Alcoholics Anonymous and Yahoo of a year ago, I think the first thing they have to do is admit there is a problem.

      2. dogged

        Re: How the world changes

        If she can pass the furniture-throwing test, who's going to stand in her way?

        Someone who can catch furniture?

  8. Turtle

    Divergent Interests Lead To Different Questions.

    While I don't deny that the question of Ballmer's successor is both significant and important, what actually concerns me is how much further he is going to run Microsoft into the ground before he actually leaves.

  9. Big O

    Steve Bong, surely?

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Bog - I mean Bong - could certainly be wafted in as Chief Innovagineer.

      1. frank ly
        Thumb Up

        +1 for 'Innovagineer'

        See title.

  10. Malagabay
    IT Angle

    We've found 14 IT HOTSHOTS

    But are there 14 “hotshots” who want the job?

    The Board [bored] has been dozing at the wheel for a decade or more… but it seems to have suddenly woken up [too late] when the company has come off the rails.

    So the questions are:

    Do the Bored know what they want?

    Do the Bored know what they need?

    Do the Bored know what they can do?

    Do the Bored know what will make investors feel secure?

    The last decade tells us that the answer is NO on all counts.

    Given the Bored and the total lack of company coherence, cooperation and cohesion one has to assume that only a “snake oil salesmen” would want the job [whatever it might be].

    Therefore, choosing the “new leader” will rely entirely upon serendipity.

    Personally, I wouldn’t look for a “new leader”.

    Just break up the company into separate business units… sink or swim.

    However, I guess the Bored will look for someone who “loves the company” and can tell the Bored [with a straight face] that he will “restore their former glory”.

    So please welcome: Stephen Elop [and please hand that man a chair and his three envelopes].

    1. dogged

      Re: We've found 14 IT HOTSHOTS

      The Board [bored] has been dozing at the wheel for a decade or more… but it seems to have suddenly woken up [too late] when the company has come off the rails

      Tripled revenues, doubled profits and at least four new profit-making divisions. Off the rails indeed! MS is ruined! Thank Kibo you can see it, Malagabay because those millions of investors earning big dividends (I realize that to internet commentards, dividends are a new concept and only market cap matters but to investors things are different) sure can't.

      1. Malagabay

        Re: We've found 14 IT HOTSHOTS

        The “dead cat bounce” in the share price when the “dead cat bounced” indicates that plenty of others “see it” and feel it…

  11. Chairo
    Thumb Up

    Please please please

    Let it be Elop. For all the good it would do Nokia, Microsoft and the rest of the world.

    1. Michael Habel

      Re: Please please please

      Nokia are only slowly heading off in the same direction as RIM / Blackberry. But at this point I don't see a way back for Nokia. They had a decision to make. They took made a bad One. and this is where they now find themselves. I just hope that there foray into Surface / RT isn't the Straw that breaks their Back.

      1. hoverboy

        Re: Please please please

        All the people saying Nokia are failing are just not looking at the current facts. They are selling the Lumia phones as fast as they can make them, the uptake of Windows Phone is increasing rapidly in almost all markets and the low-price models are showing up in the best-sellers lists. Even the new Nokia RT tablet may save that OS, once the networks start offering them on subsidized contracts.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: "the uptake of Windows Phone is increasing rapidly in almost all markets"

          That may be true, but double of not much is still not much.

          Call me on that when the uptake of Windows Phone reaches the 50% market point.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Please please please

          I'm guessing you are totally unaware of the cancelled Nokia expansion into Vietnam for manufacuring, or the massive downscaling and mothballing of lines in Chenai and Dongguan then..

          Lumia has flopped, Windows Phone has flopped, the app stores are as barren as they have always been, Surfact RT is worthless junk.

          Yet somehow you seem to the headline growth figures (but with undisclosed actual numbers) and have fallen hook line and sinker into the hype.

          Don't you get it? Microsoft are cash rich, they can pay anyone in the media to say whatever they want. At the same time, Windows RT and Windows phone are criticial to their future success, they have no plan B.

          I can only assume you ended up with a Windows Phone, and the only person you are convincing in you. Don't worry, Nokia will be long gone by time your contract renewal is up, and you can put it down to experience that you should never believe online reviews, or what the bloke in the phone store told you.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Please please please

        Nokia's RT adventure is just Flop trying to get on message and back into MS after failing to get MS to buy Nokia last year. If Nokia's board don't kick him out now then Nokia will be dead and buried next year. Unfortunately if MS' board are asleep then Nokia's board are in a coma.

  12. ColonelClaw

    It's got to be Elop

    The guy is perfect for the role, he's completely fucked over Nokia by discarding something that was working fine and ramming something else down everyone's throats that no-one wants. He would be a natural at Microsoft.

    1. dogged

      Re: It's got to be Elop

      Tell me then, oh MS-Hater, what do Microsoft have that's working fine which Elop would replace?


      Nope, didn't think so. Cheesy shot at Elop which made no sense whatsoever then?

      Thought so.

      Now personally, I think Elop would both be a terrible choice and would refuse it anyway. I think he's genuinely committed to Nokia and does indeed stand a chance of turning their smartphone business around. The 520 is eating landfill Android's lunch and it's a gateway drug.

      I think he'd be a terrible choice because he's a guy who examines a problem and comes up with a solution - just one solution - which he will pursue no matter what internet fucktards say about it. In many ways that's an admirable trait but Microsoft's portfolio is far too large for it work there.

      1. Malagabay

        Re: but Microsoft's portfolio is far too large for it work there.

        Their portfolio [of loss leaders] is far too large to work [here, there or anywhere].

        1. dogged

          Re: but Microsoft's portfolio is far too large for it work there.

          Yes, they make such a big loss, don't they?

          No. They don't.

          I don't mind intelligent discussion but you're missing an important criterion.

          1. Malagabay

            Re: but Microsoft's portfolio is far too large for it work there.

            "Loss Leaders" like Surface RT [which has also done so much for their reputation and credibility]... Welcome to the real world.

            1. dogged

              @ Malagabay

              Who pays you to come out with this crap?

              Name three loss leaders on Microsoft's current portfolio. I'd wait but you can't so don't bother.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @ Malagabay

                >Name three loss leaders on Microsoft's current portfolio.

                Not Malagabay but...

                1. Windows RT

                2. Surface RT

                3. Surface Pro

                4. SkyDrive

                6. Azure

                7. Kinect

                8. xbox hardware

                9. Bing

                10... oops... was getting a bit carried away there...

                1. Malagabay

                  Re: @ Malagabay

                  Thank you "Not Malagabay"... its even worse than I thought :-)

      2. ColonelClaw

        Re: It's got to be Elop

        Now I don't want to sound pedantic, but you waited as long as it took you to press the Enter key and type 'Nope', which didn't really give me the chance to respond. But since you asked, take your pick from any of:

        XP -> Vista

        Win7 -> Win8

        Office with no Ribbon -> Office with Ribbon

        etc etc

        1. dogged


          Even if you hate all of those (and remember, Vista -> Win7 is also on Ballmer's record, what a failure he must be), they've been done. Hence you aren't suggesting them for Elop's attention.

          So my point stands.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's got to be Elop

        " The 520 is eating landfill Android's lunch and it's a gateway drug."

        Facts please...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's got to be Elop

        Elop realised that compared to Apple and Samsung, Nokia could only afford one solution.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's got to be Elop

      Yup. It's GOT to be Elop! He's certainly proven there can't be anyone in the world more fiercely loyal to Microsoft, he's acquired first hand experience in presiding over the annihilation of giant multinational tech corporations and he'll be looking for new employment before Ballmer's year is up. There can't be anyone more perfect.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's got to be Elop

      Ballmer gave a hint of who will succeed hem when he chanted:

      "DevELOPers, devELOPers, devELOPers, devELOPers, devELOPers, devELOPers!"

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Jim Allchin, Brad Silverberg, Paul Maritz, Nathan Myhrvold, Greg Maffei, Pete Higgins, Jeff Raikes, J. Allard, Robbie Bach, Bill Veghte, Ray Ozzie, Bob Muglia and Steven Sinofsky

    Oh hang on, they have all jumped or been pushed off the sinking ship already, the lifeboats are full....

  14. hoverboy

    Steven Sinofsky

    Surely should be on the list

    1. dogged

      Re: Steven Sinofsky

      I think he might be disbarred by his own non-compete clause, bizarrely enough.

      1. Yet Another Commentard

        Re: Steven Sinofsky

        I would assume that given mutual consent such a clause would be voided. Contracts work like that.

        Personally, I think he'd be the wrong person, but my opinions count for very little in this game.

  15. Eradicate all BB entrants

    MS is indeed a diverse company....

    ...... so why not have 2 people filling the role, technical and sales. Sure there will be friction but at least there will be someone at the same level who can say 'that's the dumbest idea ever' without fear of being sacked.

    MS did better with Gates and Ballmer together, why not return to that mix?

  16. Gio Ciampa

    Just for the hell of it...


    1. Andrew Moore

      Re: Just for the hell of it...

      Jony Ives!

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Just for the hell of it...

      Heck, I agree - if only for the amount of swearing that would bring.

      There might even be new swear words invented specifically for MS !

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suppose the decision over who gets the job will be more decided by what role does the CEO actually have in such a large organisation.

    Now I don't mean what is the CEO's job description but is the CEO to be the person that runs the company or the person who appears to run the company?

    Look at Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, they are synonymous with their respective companies rise to fame and give the impression that they were involved with every aspect of the product that shot them to fame whereas any body who's worked for a large company (government included) knows that the higher up the food chain you go the less hands on and more broad picture you get.

    Ballmer may have signed off on Windows 8 but it was Mark Sinofskwys baby and Gabe Newell didn't personally code the Steam Workshop himself.

    Any major changes to a company like Microsoft is going to need the board and the shareholders approval and will need to bring the divisions over to their vision and the CEO post is mainly window dressing. They need to hire a CEO that can convince everybody they can run the company more thna they can run the company.

  18. Moonshine

    It has to be Marissa

    I'm a big fan. Not sure how she'd get on. Hair tossing not chair tossing. The DEVELOPERS won't know what's hit them.

  19. N2

    David Cutler

    Shame hes not younger, the board would respect a man with a good punch. So Satya Nadella, would be a good man .

  20. tristian o'brien

    what are the odds on Lord Sugar?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Please welcome to the stage.....Alan.......Sugar......"

      "Emailer, emailer, emailer, emailer, emailer, emailer, emailer, emailer, emailer"....

    2. hammarbtyp
      Thumb Up

      The apprentice (miscosoft CEO edition)

      Now that's a series of the apprentice I would really like to see.

      You first task ladies and gentlemen is to go out and design a mobile phone product that doesn't suck.

      Later... "Elop, your fired'

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money men

    The financial people seem to want the founders out, so I doubt they will choose a "technologist" and I expect to see some sort of financial manipulator type. :P

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Money men

      If they get one of those financial-manipulators, MS will have ceased to be within a decade.

      They have a pretty big cash pile, but without compelling product they'll burn it very quickly.

      That's been Ballmers problem - he's burnt a few billion in the last few years, and you simply can't keep doing that.

  22. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Choosing a CEO like a Hollywood filmstar: Better take Tom Cruise, a sure win!

    Yeah.... I hope every one of those has been ENDORSED BY OPRAH.

    How about CEOs we haven't yet heard of instead of somewhat burnt-out prima donnas?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't really matter who they get, unless they completely change the backstabbing culture at the company then it will never perform well.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does anyone have a contact number for Eadon?

  25. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Winner winner, chicken dinner...

    And the winner is... Jeff Skilling. Did a brilliant job at Enron, and was also hugely entertaining to boot - unless you were an employee... or Cliff Baxter; and if MS can hold on for a bit, he's free from 2017 when his parole comes up.

    1. dogged

      Re: Winner winner, chicken dinner...

      Bob Diamond was popular, too. And Fred Goodwin.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Winner winner, chicken dinner...

        It's worth pointing out that Fred Goodwin did change RBS from a financial backwater into (briefly) the largest bank in the world. There was the disastrous ABN Amro purchase which nearly killed RBS, but it is still far, far larger than it was when he took it over.

  26. flashdba

    There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See

    The obvious answer is staring us all in the face... Léo Apotheker.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Of the outsiders, I think Diane Green is the best option

    No opinion on MS insiders....

  28. Robert Moore

    My vote still goes to Carly Fiorina

    After the way she gutted HP, I would love to see what she could do at Microsoft. ;)

    Full disclosure: I am not a Microsoft fan.

  29. RobHib

    Someone with customer focus

    Perhaps someone who gives the customer what he/she wants.

    Such as different versions of Windows for differing classes of users. Microsoft's been in the Henry Ford business of offering 'any colour you like so long as its black' for too long. Now's the opportunity to escape.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Someone with customer focus

      Never give the customers what they want in any form of new technology, because they simply aren't qualified to tell the company what they want.

      Obligatory Henry Ford quote: If I gave my customers what they wanted, I'd be making faster horses.

      1. Faceless Man

        Re: Someone with customer focus

        "Obligatory Henry Ford quote: If I gave my customers what they wanted, I'd be making faster horses."

        I'd have argues that Microsoft have been trying to sell faster horses to a customer base that wants rocket packs.

        It's just that, to make the horses faster, they've cut off the head and stuck an extra pair of legs on that get tangled in the other four. And then telling the public that obviously a rocket pack needs a horse in order to do the job properly anyway...

        Maybe this analogy doesn't work after all.

        What MS needs in a CEO is someone who will come in, tear down the development silos, make the Office team play nice with the rest of the organisation, kill the practice of trying to compete with everyone who makes software or hardware for their OS, and focus on making their software suitable for purpose. That will include stop trying to force everything to run exactly the same OS, and acknowledge that phones and tablets are different from desktops and laptops, which are different from servers.

        I think it needs to be someone fairly young, and who will stick around a long time to force the required philosophical changes through the organisation. That or they need to look at an interim CEO to tear down the silos, and then replace them with someone to build the company back up again.

    2. mmeier

      Re: Someone with customer focus

      Unlike many of the Win8 haters here I AM a long term MS customer and

      I do NOT want different Windows for different user classes/systems

      So we remain with Win8 and the "one to rule them".

      Now excuse me, the Admins are playing "drown the Penguin" with the intern and will start turning up the load generator any minute now

  30. Pete Wilson


    The obvious choice is Michael Dell, together with a restructuring of both Dell and Microsoft to form two different companies (one a server-and-services company (DellSoft) and one a consumer company (MicroDell) doing phones and xboxes and...)

    Dell runs DellSoft, Elop runs MicroDell and merges it with Nokia to form the industry colossus MicroNok.

    There. Sorted.

    -- Pete

  31. Alistair

    just a thought:

    Carl Icahn.

  32. OzBob

    Best stunt ever would be,...

    have Mark Zuckerberg named-dropped in the tech press by a MS insider. Biggest flame war ever.

  33. kain preacher

    What if they stuck Bill Gates back in till the got a new CEO ?

    1. henchan

      After all, returning Founder as Temporary CEO worked out very well for Apple.

      This is really the only solution . A leader is required. One with vision, that employees, investors and customers would get behind. Nobody of that callibre could stand to have BG driving from the back-seat. So they might as well bring him back to the front. Only one man needs to be convinced and the rest just falls into place. Perhaps Melinda could keep the whole Malaria / AIDS thing going on her own?

  34. JonHendry

    I know!

    How about Jonathan Schwartz?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The absolute perfect CEO for Microsoft

    Jonathan Schwartz

    I would *love* for Jonathan Schwartz to be the next CEO of Microsoft.

    He would fix the mess they've made of things in short order. :D

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    One of the perceived problems with Microsoft is its unpleasant HR system which puts bullshit and self promotion at an advantage. I have a two pronged strategy: make Hugh Laurie CEO and get a first class HR person to fix the internal relations.

    No one person can really run a big company; why pretend. Put someone as the face of Microsoft who will make it seem rogueish but lovable, and has a track record of supporting privacy - image problem solved.

  37. The FunkeyGibbon

    This is the perfect time to split up

    Microsoft should consider having separate companies that focus on their own strategies. Trying to make everything have one interface (Surface, Windows, Phone and Xbox) has looked forced and unwieldy. The best thing they could do is separate certain arms of the company (Phone, Windows, Xbox) and get the appropriate leader for each.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Darl McBride

    The former CEO of SCO, now in bankruptcy after he lost his Novell lawsuit.

    He would be even better than Elop at continuing Ballmer value destroying antics.

  39. Uwe Dippel

    You know what I read when seeing the title?

    "We've found 14 IT HOTSHITS to be ..."

    High time to take one more beer and then a nice long nap ... Good night!

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like