Survey shows Microsoft employees are no fans of Steve Ballmer

These aren't good days to be Steve Ballmer. Recently, he received only a lukewarm endorsement from Microsoft's board, when he was given only half of his potential bonus. Then Goldman Sachs downgraded Microsoft, and recommended that the company be split up. And now, a survey of Microsoft employees finds that only half approve of his work.

It's certainly proving to be a two weeks that Ballmer would rather forget. In Microsoft's annual proxy filing with the SEC, he received only 50% of his potential bonus. Ballmer was faulted for

the unsuccessful launch of the Kin phone; loss of market share in the company's mobile phone business; and the need for the Company to pursue innovations to take advantage of new form factors.

Then, several days ago, Goldman Sachs downgraded Microsoft from a buy to neutral and suggested carving up the company by spinning off its consumer division. Goldman Sachs also faulted Microsoft for failures in mobile.

And now CNN points out that Microsoft employees are not overlay enamoured with Ballmer, either, based on a survey done by A visit to's Microsoft page shows that only half of more than 1000 Microsoft employees surveyed approve of the job that Ballmer is doing. That's far from a ringing endorsement from the very people he needs to lead.

So it may be that there's more riding on Windows Phone 7 than how well Microsoft does in mobile. Ballmer's fate may hinge on it as well.

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