Steve Ballmer: ''Bye, Microsoft board.'' Bloggers read between lines

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A lot of words, but what do they mean?

Microsoft has lost a key Board member. He's called Steve Ballmer -- you might remember him.

Resigning his seat on the Board of Directors, Ballmer cited the pressure of his other commitments, but included some pointed warnings to his protégé, Satya Nadella.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers say the words that, while said, remained unsaid. Not to mention: developersdevelopersdevelopersdevelopers

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

 

Steve Ballmer writes writes writes writes: [You're fired -Ed.]

As I approach the six month mark of my retirement and your appointment as CEO, I have been reflecting. ... First, Microsoft has been my life’s work. ... Writing great software is a tremendous accomplishment and selling software has been a fabulous business.

In the six months since leaving, I have become very busy. I see...the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time [so] it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board.  MORE

 

Chris Kanaracus adds background:

About six months after retiring as CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer has relinquished his seat on the company's board.

Ballmer noted that he holds more Microsoft shares than anyone apart from index funds, and expects "to continue holding that position." ... Nadella thanked Ballmer in a letter of his own..."It's been a great privilege to have worked with you. ... While your insights and leadership will be greatly missed...I understand and support your decision."  MORE

 

Matt Rosoff sees these important points:

Ballmer sees three important businesses for Microsoft's future:..enterprise subscriptions, hardware gross margins, and advertising revenues. ... It's clear that Nadella is full speed ahead on enterprise subscriptions...but he hasn't said as much about hardware [and] nothing about advertising.

He's still the number-one shareholder. ... While he may not be an active boardmember, he still holds more voting rights than any individual, including...Bill Gates and Paul Allen. [So] he still has some influence -- for instance, if things get really bad he could help push for new boardmembers.  MORE

 

Did he jump, or was he pushed (as hinted at by Klint Finley):

The move is yet another sign that Nadella, who has been CEO for just under six months now, is well and truly in charge. ... Now, more than ever, Nadella will have the freedom to move forward with his new strategy.

We’ll all miss the rather unique antics Ballmer brought to Microsoft, but you can bet that much of this will resurface in the NBA.  MORE

 

If so, here's perhaps why, by Kelly Clay:

His presence was called the “the biggest overhang on Microsoft’s stock” by Greenlight Capital hedge fund manager David Einhorn.

...

Forrester Researcher Ted Schadler [said] “things didn’t feel good.” Stepping down as CEO was expected, and sitting on the board to completely transition out was likely just a mere formality.  MORE

 

Meanwhile, Chris Williams is lost in translation:

In fact, the chair-flinging, potty-mouthed biz supremo of old made sure there were plenty of, er, encouragements for the new CEO in the farewell statement. For example, Ballmer told Nadella, "You’re off to a bold and exciting start." Translation: Don't screw this up.

"[I] love the mix of profits, investments and dividends returned in our stock,"...he added. Translation: Seriously – don't screw this up.

"Success requires moving to monetization through enterprise subscriptions, hardware gross margins, and advertising revenues. ... You must drive that." Translation: Selling software is 2000 and late.

"I will benefit through my share ownership. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management...in any way I can." Translation: Your ass is mine.  MORE

 

But u19925 has his own codex:

Dear Satya...Microsoft stock is very high and is unsustainable over a long period. ... By leaving the board, I will be able to sell the stock before it crashes. Why do you think I made you CEO in the first place?  MORE

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