Microsoft Needs An Outside CEO, Says Joachim Kempin

Joachim Kempin, the former senior VP of Microsoft is quite a chatterbox, it seems. The guy has been on a bit of a press tour these past week or so, following the release of his exciting new book.

Pretty sure Steve Ballmer is thinking that he could have done without this latest outburst, considering that the CEO is now criticized routinely, almost on a daily basis. But that is what you get when you are the head of a large (and highly influential) company like Microsoft.

With great power comes great responsibility, eh?

It is this responsibility Kempin alluded to in his latest interview with Computing, saying that the CEO needed to resign as soon as possible and replaced by someone outside the software company:

“[Ballmer’s successor] doesn’t have to be from inside Microsoft. [The notion] that this person has to come from inside Microsoft is not necessarily good. There is a chance that this person will run the company just like Steve Ballmer did; the culture transfers itself.”

The reason the former VP gives is that an outside CEO would bring brand new ideas and a fresh new strategy for Redmond, which someone that is already working for Microsoft may not adopt, as he and she may already be influenced.

“If you get somebody from inside Microsoft, maybe that won’t happen.”

Still, he believes that Redmond will not be making any upper management changes in the foreseeable future, though the board may look for a replacement in case it thinks the company is going in the wrong direction:

“Because of Bill [Gates] and Steve are very close, I don’t see an immediate change happening anyway. But I don’t know really what that board is thinking at the moment, or if they’re even thinking [beyond Ballmer]. Bill can’t let that happen – friendship or no friendship.”

Several technology circles have recently targeted Steve Ballmer and his vision for the software giant. Slow uptake of Windows 8 and Surface RT has provided them with ample ammo, as analysts have been underwhelmed by the sales of both these products.

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