back to article CSC boss post-NHS IT flop, Ford CEO 'pitched' as the next Steve Ballmer

Three top Microsoft shareholders have apparently recommended the CEOs of car-maker Ford and IT giant CSC as possible replacements for chief exec Steve Ballmer - because both bosses are in the middle of trying to turn around their companies' fortunes. It's claimed the three investors want the Microsoft board to consider Ford …


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  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    The century of farce

    About as farcical as "The Administration" pushing its Nextest War. Are there only a handful of "CEOs" in the whole world? No Are we making a Hollywood shite movie which needs Big Names of Tired Talent to pull in punters? Well.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The century of farce

      I think the short answer is that the job is impossible to do well, but it is so abstracted from the real business of the company that the ability of the CEO to influence matters is really limited to hiring and firing, with an emphasis on the firing. (This is because taking on new people may take years to get them up to speed, while closing plants has an immediate effect, and firing board members may have a timescale of only a few months before the effects are felt).

      In the case of Ford, does anybody really know if Mulally is doing a good job or not? If China suddenly turns protectionist or its economy goes North Korean, he will look very silly.

      Obviously considerable skill is needed to manoeuvre yourself into the position where you even get considered for these jobs, but it's possible that, with Microsoft, there are quite ordinary sysadmins and IT people of a thoughtful frame of mind out there who could make much better decisions about what needed doing than any businessman. But there is no way of either finding them, or persuading the shareholders that cold, rational analysis based on an understanding of product strengths and weaknesses would achieve anything.

    2. Kunari

      Re: The century of farce

      At the CEO and board level of these companies it's an old-boys-club. They'll give the job to an acquaintance they know.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lawrie would quit his $21.29 million job for a handful of cash at Microsoft?

    BTW, good luck to Microsoft if he does take it.... MS guys had best stick their CV's onto Jobserve this week.

  3. Endymion

    I'm disappointed that Bil and the board haven't taken me up on my offer of doing it for a measly $5,000,000pa.

    1. Ted Treen

      Could be...

      ...'cos you spelt his name as "Bil"...

      1. Endymion

        Re: Could be...

        Yes, possibly. I didn't think that such detail orientation was required for the post, but some people are so picky about little things like that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: but some people are so picky

          Well, if it was me, I might think something like, Can't spell Bill: probably wouldn't care whether or not WIndows has a start menu.

          ...Or, if you did get the job, you could introduce the Sta menu. Maybe I'd rethink.

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  6. Blacklight

    The thought of someone from CSC ru(s/i/n/)ning Microsoft amuses me.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I know MS is going downhill but didn't realise they had a death wish.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't know about the one from Ford

    ... but putting someone from CSC in front of MS will surely accelerate its, on the other hand inevitable, demise.

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    So the man who helped the NHS wast £10Bn should be in charge of MS?

    Yes he sounds like the sort of person you need.

    1. NeilMc

      Re: So the man who helped the NHS wast £10Bn should be in charge of MS?

      Small but important correction, I believe the article states that Lawrie joined CSC in 2012, by which time the NHS contract was well and truly toast.

      If anything Lawrie ended a contract that was not working since its incept in 2003; and in some respects it was a contract that was doomed to failure. Designed and contracted by the NHS Ivory Tower and imposed on the SHA's and Trusts..... immediately establishing a multi-level game of them and us divides that could not bridged by the contract winners to achieve consensus to make the contract work.

  9. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    Mike Lawrie, Mike Lowrey

    I had to check the spelling on IMDB to get "Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when we come for you?" out of my ears.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: Mike Lawrie, Mike Lowrey

      "I'm always the first guy through the door and the last to leave the scene."

      Sounds like an excellent candidate to me.

      Pity he's fictional.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who's running Accenture again?

    No reason to think small, if we're talking mediocrity.

  11. RobHib

    They'd better choose well.

    Reckon they'd better choose well.

    Our Microsoft account is already closed, so their decision will directly determine whether we ever buy another Microsoft product again or not!

    'Tis that simple!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not this week

    Mulallay says he is not leaving Ford early.

  13. Fenton

    Mike is post NHS screw up

    And does have good form in turning IBM arounds when they were in the shit

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mike is post NHS screw up

      I think that's rather overstating his involvement in that.

      My mum worked in an IBM canteen at the time, maybe she also should claim to have turned the place around.

  14. Zap

    Any TECH company CEO needs two things

    Look it is quite simple

    Any TECH company CEO needs two things; VISION and an understanding of the customer.

    Bill Gates clearly had both but Steve Ballmer, not so much.

    But some jitblat from Ford will not have a clue, they wull ruin it and share price would fall through the floor.

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  16. Levente Szileszky

    It will be Elop, it was his bounty for gutting & delivering Nokia at bargain price...

    ...I'm telling you.

    Unless, of course, the shareholders revolt due to Elop's utter lack of enterprise business experience - because enterprise is STILL MSFT's cash cow, make no mistake.

    I think anyone with a clue about IT & architecture would tell you that MSFT is simply wasting incredible amounts of money year after year when chasing the ever-elusive consumer success - look at the revenues, their most successful product lines: they are an enterprise company, they have NOTHING to do with consumer products, NOTHING. Even their core OS product (Windows) is practically an enterprise desktop OS as far as sales goes, if consumers slowly drop it and switch to Android tablets, so be it - though it's absolutely astonishing to watch as the Ballmerian idiocy is actually trying to push W8's retarded changes first on the consumer market who famously *NEVER* switch from something that works to something that's new and would require re-learning a lot of things (as opposed to enterprises forcing such transitions as part of policy, training etc.)

    As I recall a FT article put it the best way: the only successful consumer division is the Xbox one - but then take it out and your balance sheet barely even changes.


    And FT actually didn't even mention what a disaster Xbox is 'til date, regardless of its newfound profits - 10 years and $3 BEELLION LOSS so far. Practically every consumer project was a royal fuckup during the Ballmerian "Lost Decade" at MSFT.

    Again: MSFT should concentrate on SMB & enterprise markets - of course, they should include a mobile division to offer fully vertical solutions including phones and tablets, offering isolated work and private device areas (though Blackberry's Balance with BES10 free /BB10/Android/iOS/multiplatform MDM features are already far ahead of them) but it should stem FROM enterprise needs, it should follow their requirements, not the other way around, chasing el cheapo Asian customers for a one-time $20 or so profit on a Lumia, that's just idiotic and a waste of time.

    And, along with a shocking handling of a transition (he really gutted Nokia's value by opening his mouth at least a year early) that's what Elop's big "expertise" seems to be, unfortunately.

  17. The Godfather


    Shareholders and investors frequently know naff-all about business mechanics and required direction. Listening to or taking shareholders advice on CEO's is a recipe for disaster...or is this a real death-wish?

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