According to Peter Laurie on The Daily Beast , Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may soon be out. Senior Microsoft executives have been discussing how to oust their leader. Dissatisfaction with Microsoft's stock performance has fueled the possible rebellion.
Microsoft stock prices have fluctuated over the past few years, but the company has been unable to move back to former highs, instead remaining in the mid $20 range. One source of the stagnation may be a lack of recent innovation at the company, which is perceived as lagging in such areas as mobile devices, search engines, and cloud computing. Ballmer has spoken about the need for innovation in the past, saying, "Software companies are like sharks. Either you keep moving forward or you die.”
Ballmer assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer in January, 2000, at a time when the stock price was nearly double current levels. Among his first moves was a change to the company's employee stock option program. He has worked for Microsoft for thirty years, and was its 24th employee, hired by Bill Gates to act as the company's first business manager. Ballmer's leadership style, which features a brash outspokness at times, has contributed to dissension. His over the top presentation style has won him both fans and detractors.
Difficulties in ousting Ballmer are presented both by the Microsoft board's continued support of the CEO as well as the lack of a qualified candidate to succeed him.
Microsoft has declined to comment on the story.