Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer surprised a few people when he announced his plans to step down within the year. The announcement came shortly after he announced his new “One Microsoft’ plan that would turn the software giant into a devices and services company. What led to such a drastic decision after announcing plans that would fundamentally change Microsoft? The Wall Street Journal had an interview with Ballmer about his time at Microsoft, the thoughts that led to his retirement, and what he’s doing until he officially steps down.
Some call the past ten years Microsoft’s “Lost Decade”, even though revenue tripled to $78 billion and profit grew 132% under Ballmer’s watch. That’s mostly because Microsoft maintained impressive growth with Windows and Office, but it’s hard to argue that Microsoft might have missed a few potential chances to be market leaders in areas like mobile.
This inability for Microsoft to react faster to changes in the market led to some pretty drastic changes within Microsoft. Ballmer himself wanted to see the company become an engine that could react to those market changes. That required some shifts in how Microsoft operates as a company, both from leadership teams to employees.
Ballmer even saw himself as a potential anchor slowing down the changes he’s been planning.
"At the end of the day, we need to break a pattern," he says. "Face it: I'm a pattern."
So at the end of the day, Ballmer decides to remove himself in order to see his plan succeed. What’s next for Ballmer? He’s open to anything, but won’t commit to anything for at least 6 months. He has no desire to run another larger company, however he is interested in either teaching at the University level or coaching his son’s basketball team.
Hit up the source link below to read the interview in full at the WSJ.