Steve Ballmer’s departure from Microsoft is not a cure-all, says one analyst.
David Garrity, a Principal at GVA Research was on BNN’s “The Street” this morning to take about the shakeup at the Seattle-based tech giant.
This morning, Microsoft announced that CEO Steve Ballmer, after a process to find his successor, would retire within twelve-months. The company’s board announced that it has appointed a special committee to guide the process, and that Bill Gates will be a part of that group.
Garrity, noting that Microsoft’s stock reacted positively to the news, warned that a change at the top was not a panacea.
“The fact that Ballmer is leaving still leaves investors with a number of significant questions that have to be answered, not just who is the CEO. Many things are in play here,” he said. Garrity says there are still questions about Microsoft’s strategy going forward the changes do have potential to bring something more “dynamic” to the plate.
“People would argue that were significant changes in technology that took place where Microsoft was really not a leader,” said the analyst.
Steve Ballmer has been CEO of Microsoft since 2000. The Detroit-born billionaire joined the company in 1980 as it 30th employee, and the first business manager hired by Gates, who was his college roommate. Under Ballmer, Microsoft’s revenue surged from $25-billion to more nearly $78-billion last year. He is credited with building the company’s data services division and its XBox division.
As Microsoft’s stock flatlined in recent years, the affable Ballmer had come under increasing criticism. Last year, Forbes writer Adam Hartung described him as “the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company”. The writer said Ballmer had “steered Microsoft out of some of the fastest growing and most lucrative tech markets (mobile music, handsets and tablets)”.
At press time, shares of Microsoft were up 6.88% to $34.61.