August 29, 2013
Amid the Microsoft (MSFT) CEO search, here’s a hunch: Chairman Bill Gates already knows who will succeed Steve Ballmer as the software giant’s leader. The oddsmakers say Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is the top candidate. But The VAR Guy isn’t so sure… especially since Gates’ vote likely carries the most weight on Microsoft’s board.
Let’s start with the conspiracy theory: Investor pressure on Ballmer had been escallating in recent months. Then came the July bombshell involving a $900 million Surface write-off as well as a company reorganization. Fast forward to August and Ballmer decides to throw in the towel.
Let The VAR Guy get this straight:
Gates leads Microsoft’s board. His fortune and legacy are largely tied up in the software giant.
Gates and the board surely approved Ballmer’s reorganization plan, announced in July.
Gates and the board either pushed for or accepted Ballmer’s resignation/exit plan, announced in August.
And so The VAR Guy must ask:
Is it possible that over the past year, during all the turmoil at Microsoft, Gates didn’t create his own short-list of target CEO successors for Ballmer?
Bill Gates — the man who predicted the rise of Wallet PCs more than a decade before the iPhone emerged — did not look ahead and anticipate the potential need for a new Microsoft CEO?
Officially, Board Member John Thompson is leading Microsoft’s CEO search. Unofficially, this is Gates’ baby. And The VAR Guy thinks Gates already has a leading successor candidate in mind.
Ballmer sticking around for a full-year as CEO? The VAR Guy doubts it. This will be a six-month search or less. Mark The VAR Guy’s words…
Note: The content above is purely a hunch from The VAR Guy. But our resident blogger tends to follow his hunches to see where they’ll lead.
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