Redmond officially announced on Friday that CEO Steve Ballmer plans to retire within the next 12 months. Since then, a new wave of criticism aimed at Microsoft’s leader for the past 13 years has followed.
Analysts and experts around the world have criticized Ballmer and the way he has led Microsoft.
And now Microsoft has struck back. Frank Shaw, corporate vice president of Corporate Communications at the company, claims that media publications are quite simply too harsh with the company’s outgoing chief executive officer.
In fact, in some cases, these commentaries do not even take into account the achievements and successes and Ballmer has recorded in other areas:
“There have been a few common themes in some of the coverage I’ve seen since Friday that are worth taking a moment to dissect and discuss. One approach has been to focus exclusively on some of our consumer businesses, and then judge us harshly while ignoring the successes we’ve had elsewhere.”
It is true that only a few have actually praised Steve Ballmer for his achievements and things that he managed to do in his time at Microsoft, while most are quick to point to the disappointing sales of some of the newer products:
“Another approach has been to go a step further, criticize our lack of ‘focus’ and suggest that those other successes are actually a distraction from what they believe should be our single priority.
What these themes reveal is a single narrow frame through which the writers and pundits view the industry itself that leads them to reach these conclusions. Since we have a different perspective that drives our strategy, we naturally see things differently.”
Fair enough — but in many ways the less than stellar sales performance of Windows 8 and the Surface tablets has been enough for these analysts to decry Ballmer’s leadership and vision.
End consumers only make a part of Microsoft’s business, and sectors like enterprise and cloud promise to be increasingly important domains of Redmond’s dominance. If one is judging, it pays to judge as a whole, overall, rather than cherry picking.
Ballmer, however, has not commented too much on his departure. The CEO has only given a couple of interviews to the media, whereby he maintained that his decision to retire had nothing to do with ValueAct Capital’s intentions of getting a seat in the company’s board.