Steve Ballmer boasts profitability, reveals personal living room push in Microsoft exit interview

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
With Steve Ballmer's days left at Microsoft dwindling down, the outgoing CEO has participated in a new interview reflecting on his legacy, in which he boasts how profitable he made the company's business, and takes credit for the company's buzz-generating, but not particularly profitable, Xbox division.

Ballmer


Ballmer sat down for an interview with journalist Mary Jo Foley, who spoke with Microsoft's soon-to-depart chief executive for an exit interview with Fortune. In the discussion, Ballmer was particularly proud of the fact that he managed to double Microsoft's profits and triple its revenues under his watch -- a triumph he compared to Apple's own recent success.

"In the last five years, probably Apple has made more money than we have," Ballmer said. "But in the last 13 years, I bet we've made more money than almost anybody on the planet. And that, frankly, is a great source of pride to me."

The CEO also took credit for Microsoft's major push into the living room over the last 12 years with its Xbox franchise. This year marks its largest endeavor yet, with the launch of the new Xbox One gaming console, which Microsoft announced on Wednesday has sold 2 million units since it debuted last month.

While the Xbox has earned buzz in the console gaming market and sold tens of millions of units, it's mostly been a money losing operation for Microsoft. In particular, high failure rates with the Xbox 360 console cost the company over a billion dollars.

"I believe in accountability," Ballmer said. "I'm in. I'm accountable. I'll make this work -- not that I had to drive it -- but we had some bumps in the road. And it was important that I stay accountable, stay patient, and stay behind the decision that we made."

He also insisted that he's leaving Microsoft better than he found it, with the Redmond, Wash., company now "more focused" after his tenure. He attributed that to Microsoft falling from being a "complete leader" to a "leader and a challenger." Challengers, he said, have to be more focused to stay alive.



Ballmer announced his plans to retire from Microsoft in August, bringing to an end his 13-year reign over the software giant. The search for his successor remains ongoing.

He held his final company meeting in September, where he told 13,000 full-time employees in attendance that Microsoft has "unbelievable potential" in front of it. He also used the opportunity to take a few swipes at rival Apple, which he said is focused on being "fashionable," while Microsoft, he said, is about "doing more."

In recent years, Microsoft has seen poor performances of flagship products like Windows 8 -- disappointments that led to a pay cut for Ballmer in his final months at the company. Critics say Microsoft has failed to adapt to the modern mobile age, while Apple has found considerable success with its iPhone and iPad lineups.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member

    So basically what he's basically saying is in the past 20yrs he really doesn't have much to show for. And, I think its quite asshole like to say he's responsible for the Xbox. Never mind the actually team that did this. 

     

    Making money is one thing (which he did do), but shipping crappy products and making money is another thing. It may be good for the bottom line in the short term (which it seemed to be), but in the long run it hurts your brand. Just look where they are now....struggling a little now days to get a good product out the door with anything. 

  • Reply 2 of 46


    "In the last five years, probably Apple has made more money than we have," Ballmer said. "But in the last 13 years, I bet we've made more money than almost anybody on the planet. And that, frankly, is a great source of pride to me."


     

    Mr. Ballmer, the question was, “Who do you think you are?”

     

    "I believe in accountability," Ballmer said. "I'm in. I'm accountable. I'll make this work -- not that I had to drive it -- but we had some bumps in the road. And it was important that I stay accountable, stay patient, and stay behind the decision that we made."


     

    Mr. Ballmer… the question was, “What gives you the right?”

     

     He also insisted that he’s leaving Microsoft better than he found it


     

    And we who prefer Apple thank you for your interpretation.

  • Reply 3 of 46
    Complete douche-bag
  • Reply 4 of 46
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,320member

    Ballmer’s RDF is not nearly as good as the other Steve’s was.

  • Reply 5 of 46

    "In the last five years, probably Apple has made more money than we have," Ballmer said. "But in the last 13 years, I bet we've made more money than almost anybody on the planet. And that, frankly, is a great source of pride to me."

     

    .. he says just as he jumps off the chuck wagon before it plunges out of control over a cliff. Good luck to the next CEO who will be cleaning up the mess.

  • Reply 6 of 46
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

    Ballmer’s RDF is not nearly as good as the other Steve’s was.

     

    Ballmer has a SEP field.

  • Reply 7 of 46
    This story was a good as spitting hot coffee out of my nose onto my screen...if not better.
  • Reply 8 of 46
    "But in the last 13 years, I bet we've made more money than almost anybody on the planet. And that, frankly, is a great source of pride to me."

    And that's the problem. If the focus had been on producing great products instead of making lots of money, you might have had a valuable legacy and Microsoft would have been in a great position moving forward. Instead, you're leaving Microsoft with a disaster in your OS, people abandoning your Office suite, a disaster in tablets, a history of failed MP3 players and phones, and an unenviable and questionable future. That, sir, is your legacy.
  • Reply 9 of 46
    Employee: Steve Ballmer
    Self-assessment: Completed
  • Reply 10 of 46
    Well, at least his replacement won't have anything to live up to.
  • Reply 11 of 46
    He also insisted that he's leaving Microsoft better than he found it, with the Redmond, Wash., company now "more focused" after his tenure. He attributed that to Microsoft falling from being a "complete leader" to a "leader and a challenger." Challengers, he said, have to be more focused to stay alive.
    A challenger is someone who is not in a leadership position but is fighting to be in a leadership position, fighting someone's hold on something. How is going from a leader to a challenger a better position?

    Leaders also have to be more focused to stay alive, the fact that he doesn't realise this just shows why he has "led" microsoft out of a leadership position.
  • Reply 12 of 46
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,087member

    "In the last five years, probably Apple has made more money than we have," Ballmer said. "But in the last 13 years, I bet we've made more money than almost anybody on the planet. And that, frankly, is a great source of pride to me."

     

    But what have you done lately? Nothing!!!!

  • Reply 13 of 46

    I am just wondering if Ballmer actually believes what he is saying.  And are concerned that there is no mental hospital in the Puget Sound area where they can help mental disorders like his.

  • Reply 14 of 46

    You can also make money by selling rubber dogshit. But that isn't the point (nor that MS' share value been stagnant for forever.)

     

    The point is that MS has been in decline for years now, not in the least because of their continued reliance on the Windows/Office cow, and their introduction of unsuccessful/unwanted products that simply undermine their core products - which are already in decline in the first place. 

     

    All this has amounted, over the years, to MS becoming the laughing-stock of tech, especially when the obligatory comparisons to Apple are brought up by the media, and stupidly, by MS themselves. 

  • Reply 15 of 46
    This guy is so delusional and self inflated. He would make a great politician. Hope he doesn't see that in his future...
  • Reply 16 of 46

    Here is some of Microsoft realization under Ballmer direction:

     


    • Hotmail buyout, now in a steady decline ever since

    • WebTV, does anybody still know what it is?

    • WMA DRM, after M$ screwed all their partner, they finally kill it and screwed every consumer who made the mistake to buy DRM music. 

    • .NET development, what a mess. 

    • Bing, no comments

    • Skype Buyout, After Microsoft screwed them self with their designed not to be cross-platform Messenger, they never supported video conference on other platform beside windows, after 10 years of incompatibleness they finally prefer to buyout the competition instead of fixing their own shit. 

    • Xbox, the highest failing ratio from any consumers electronics out there. 

    • The original 10 000$ Surface computer table, even Microsoft want everything about it to disappear, since they have recycle the product name for another bad product.

    • Window Phone 6.5, 7, 8, Another big misdirecting mess from Microsoft.

  • Reply 17 of 46
    Ballmer is a moron, but by Microsoft standards, he's excellent.
  • Reply 18 of 46
    bigmac2 wrote: »
    Here is some of Microsoft realization under Ballmer direction:
      <li style="margin-left:40px;"><span style="line-height:1.4em;">Hotmail buyout, now in a steady decline ever since</span>
      </li>

      <li style="margin-left:40px;"><span style="line-height:1.4em;">WebTV, does anybody still know what it is?</span>
      </li>

      <li style="margin-left:40px;">WMA DRM, after M$ screwed all their partner, they finally kill it and screwed every consumer who made the mistake to buy DRM music. </li>

      <li style="margin-left:40px;">.NET development, what a mess. </li>

      <li style="margin-left:40px;">Bing, no comments</li>

      <li style="margin-left:40px;">Skype Buyout, After Microsoft screwed them self with their designed not to be cross-platform Messenger, they never supported video conference on other platform beside windows, after 10 years of incompatibleness they finally prefer to buyout the competition instead of fixing their own shit. </li>

      <li style="margin-left:40px;">Xbox, the highest failing ratio from any consumers electronics out there. </li>

      <li style="margin-left:40px;">The original 10 000$ Surface computer table, even Microsoft want everything about it to disappear, since they have recycle the product name for another bad product.</li>

      <li style="margin-left:40px;">Window Phone 6.5, 7, 8, Another big misdirecting mess from Microsoft.</li>

    How did you forget the buyout of the Andy Rubin startup Danger, Inc.? It gave birth to project Pink, also known as the Microsoft KIN.
  • Reply 19 of 46

    ... and now he'll go home and roll in his money... and laugh.

  • Reply 20 of 46
    Why is it that when I click the Safari Reader button, the reader just displays "AppleInsider would like to thank its site sponsors"??? Can you guys tag your content appropriately for your readers?
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