Ballmer to Critics: Microsoft Is Doing Well Because Of Me


Last month, an influential hedge fund manager was quoted saying that Microsoft needs to fire CEO Steve Ballmer and let someone new take charge. According to the critic, Ballmer is apparently “stuck in the past” and is responsible for Microsoft losing potential revenue. Today, Ballmer publicly responded to his critics and argued otherwise.

During a speech at the Seattle Rotary Club at the Westin Hotel, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was quoted saying, “At Microsoft we believe in that opportunity. We’ve investing in those opportunities. We’re building the products that we hope are the difference makers. We’ve been very fortunate. We’ve made bets. We’ve built products. We’ve made the difference. There’s a reason why we’ll do almost $70 billion in revenue this year, and we’ll make over 20-whatever, $26-27 billion in profits. There are reasons — we made the right bets and we’re making the bets for the future.”

When asked what he thought about people who say he needed to quit Microsoft, Ballmer responded by saying, “You tell me if I lack the energy, conviction … or drive.”

Ballmer also talked about the big three of new age technology. The ability for computers to recognize you, the ability for computers to understand what you want, and cloud computing.

Ballmer said the ability to use our fingers on touchscreens was just the beginning. “No. 1, your computer will learn to recognize you, your voice, your fingers.”

“The second biggest thing I think is my computer will learn to understand me.” Ballmer notes that asking your assistant to find out where your next meeting is located, your assistant can not only get you the directions but also a biography of who you will be dealing with. Ballmer also states that if you go to your computer and search for it instead, you will have no idea where to look. Microsoft, however, is working on making it just as easy. “It’s why we’re investing so much in Bing. You can type in what you want in your own language.”

“The cloud is the buzz word that connects you to the Internet. That back end phenomena will be the source of so many new companies … that it will be quite an exciting time for the next five years.”

Last month, David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, believed that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer needed to step down and discontinue his “Charlie Brown style of management” and to “give someone else a chance.” Such harsh words for the man who succeeded co-founder Bill Gates in 2000.