What happens to a company when a visionary CEO is gone? Most often innovation dies and the company coasts for years on momentum and its brand. Rarely does it regain its former glory.
Microsoft entered the 21st century as the dominant software provider for anyone who interacted with a computing device. 16 years later it’s just another software company.
After running Microsoft for 25 years, Bill Gates handed the reins of CEO to Steve Ballmer in January 2000. Ballmer went on to run Microsoft for the next 14 years. If you think the job of a CEO is to increase sales, then Ballmer did a spectacular job. He tripled Microsoft’s sales to $78 billion and profits more than doubled from $9 billion to $22 billion. The launch of the Xbox and Kinect, and the acquisitions of Skype and Yammer happened on his shift. If the Microsoft board was managing…
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