The Microsoft Exec Exodus
June 21, 2006 1 Comment
On a topic I've covered multiple times recently, more execs are stepping down from Microsoft. Both Martin Taylor and Ted Hase are already gone, in fact. From the respective articles:
Microsoft did not give details on why Martin Taylor left the world's biggest software maker after the 13-year company veteran was appointed in March to lead marketing efforts for Windows Live.
“After 16 exciting, interesting years in one place challenging conventional thinking, introducing fresh approaches, creating new businesses opportunities, and managing, leading and being influenced by some of the brightest minds in the industry I've decided that it's time for a change,” Hase said.
As you can see, both have been with the company well over a decade. Both of them seem to have come to recent hasty decisions or were pushed out. Cringely has some interesting ideas on what we'll see in the coming months. I agree with a lot of what he says, and I came to the same conclusion – Ballmer has to go. He takes that assessment further though and says “several dozen of his (Gates) closest and oldest associates” must also leave for this to be done correctly. The “Microsoft Way” must fundamentally shift in a major way, which in essence means a regime change at this point. Shift away from what you ask? I think this recent comment from Bill is telling:
When they invented radial tires, they should have shot the guy,” he said. “The whole industry went through a crisis, because it took nine years to squeeze out the extra factory capacity, because the tires lasted longer.”
That's what Microsoft has thought of innovation recently. Anything that cuts into sales, even if it saves lives is bad. I hope you're no longer wondering why Microsoft doesn't innovate. Whether they can pull a fundamental paradigm change off in a company the size of Microsoft remains to be seen, but a lot of longtime Microsofties will have to go in the process for them to have any change at all. This one could get ugly.
Microsoft, MSFT, Cringely, Gates