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Microsoft XBox (Games)

Steve Ballmer Replaces Don Mattrick As Xbox One Chief 343

Posted by timothy
from the so-crazy-it-just-might-work dept.
Edsj writes "While Don Mattrick leaves Microsoft to work at Zynga, Steve Ballmer announces that, from now on, he will be directly in charge of the Xbox One division as quoted: 'Don's directs will report to me and will continue to drive the day-to-day business as a team, particularly focused on shipping Xbox One this holiday.'"
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Steve Ballmer Replaces Don Mattrick As Xbox One Chief

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  • Well, (Score:5, Funny)

    by cheddarlump (834186) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:52AM (#44165657)
    There goes the xbox.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ballmer post? Guess we'll be needing these:

      Developers. Developers. Developers. Developers. Developers. Developers. Developers. Developers. Developers. Developers.

    • Re:Well, (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Xest (935314) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:02AM (#44165793)

      Quite the opposite I think.

      If you look at what happened with the DRM fiasco, we had Don insulting his customers saying basically that DRM was for their own good but also importantly that it couldn't be removed, then within a couple of days you had it removed including detail of the implications that had on other systems and features which is not a mere couple of days work to evaluate properly.

      I suspect what happened is that Sony did their unveil, Don refusing to admit he was wrong (because he hates consumers, and is an arrogant dick, hence why Zynga is perfect for him) carried on parroting the DRM line whilst his reports knew that this was a major problem, bypassed Don because he was a waste of space and went straight to Ballmer to say "Let us remove this or we're done", Ballmer gave permission, they sent to work on it and had a good week to do it whilst Don was still oblivious, or knew full well, but was trying to fight his corner internally. Either way he obviously lost eventually.

      Hence why he has now gone, because he was basically undermined by those under him who knew far better than him what the customer wanted and what strategy was required not to completely destroy their product before it was even released.

      This is also I suspect why they're not replacing him, because his reports probably knew better what made a good product than he did, hence why they may as well report directly to Ballmer and cut out the idiot in the middle.

      Goodbye Don, you wont be missed, EA's most awful DRM regime period, overseeing Microsoft's worst XBox ideas, Zynga, you're an example of everything that's wrong with the games industry. It's nice to see you've finally ended up somewhere that deserves you and that you deserve to be at.

      • Re:Well, (Score:5, Interesting)

        by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:10AM (#44165901)

        Or maybe Mattrick was a scapegoat and was doing what he was told to do. When he saw what was happening at MS, he looked for a way out. Either way this is another problem that happened on Ballmer's watch.

        • Re:Well, (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Xest (935314) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:19AM (#44166017)

          It's hard to imagine Mattrick was a scapegoat given that he implicated himself by defending so rabidly the DRM policies in interviews to the extent of insulting customers. I very much doubt his orders were "Don, go make a dick of yourself in public".

          I'm pretty sure he managed that all by himself.

          • Re:Well, (Score:5, Funny)

            by NFN_NLN (633283) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:14PM (#44166749)

            It's hard to imagine Mattrick was a scapegoat given that he implicated himself by defending so rabidly the DRM policies in interviews to the extent of insulting customers. I very much doubt his orders were "Don, go make a dick of yourself in public".

            I think we can all agree we've coined the new term: "scapedick" :)

            scapegoat - In modern usage a scapegoat is an individual, group, or country singled out for unmerited negative treatment or blame.
            scapedick - An individual, group or country singled out for unmerited negative treatment or blame; then accepting the blame, and overly going along with the plan against them to the point of looking like a dick

        • Re:Well, (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TWiTfan (2887093) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:22AM (#44166069)

          Or maybe Mattrick was a scapegoat and was doing what he was told to do.

          That might be reasonable, if it weren't for the fact that Mattrick was in charge of the Xbox division and answered only to Steve Ballmer (who doesn't have a rep of micromanaging).

          No, Mattrick's many mistakes were Mattrick's and no one else's.

          • Probably. It'll be interesting to see what Ballmer does with Xbox or who he appoints to lead it. It was one of the few divisions that had any consumer appeal.
      • Re:Well, (Score:5, Interesting)

        by JDG1980 (2438906) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:11AM (#44165919)

        Cutting out underperforming middle management and flattening the hierarchy is not a new idea in business. It can work well, but it relies on the person at the top being competent, hardworking, and flexible. Suffice to say that the events of the past few years indicate Ballmer might not be up to the job.

        • Re:Well, (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Xest (935314) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:23AM (#44166083)

          I don't think Ballmer is bad in every way, I think there are some teams he seems to have recognised know what they're on about and so he just leaves alone for the most part. Windows Server and SQL Server for example have just continued to get better.

          I think Ballmer's flaw is that he has no vision, whilst Steve Jobs knew a good product when he saw one and knew when resources needed to be poured into it, and also knew when a product was a lost cause and knew when to axe it I don't think Ballmer is capable of that.

          In other words I think Microsoft's product success (like Kinect) happen in spite of Ballmer, rather than because of the support of him, but it doesn't mean that impressive products can't get through and tried and tested products can't just continue to improve when he just leaves them alone. It's possible he'll just take a hands off approach with the XBox One now.

          Or in other words I think Ballmer is a relatively passive leader, he doesn't have the drive to really fire up Microsoft and make it move, but he doesn't have the competence to axe bad ideas either. Microsoft nowadays strikes me as being somewhat in zombie mode with some departments coming up with good ideas and getting them through all by themselves without any help from leadership and other departments coming up with awful ideas (Windows 8 Metro) and pushing them through with no real leadership opposition either.

          Still I may be wrong, there are people here who work at Microsoft, maybe they can give their thoughts and explain it even if anonymously.

          • Re:Well, (Score:5, Interesting)

            by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross@@@yahoo...ca> on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:51AM (#44166437)

            Completely wrong IMO. Ballmer is a sales person plain and simple. He can sell anything to anybody. I agree he has no vision, and therein lies the problem. He takes ideas from others and tries to add them to Microsoft. Here are examples under Ballmer's watch:

            1) Oh oh shiny toy called Java, must have -> .NET
            2) Oh oh shiny toy called Flash, must have -> Silverlight
            3) Oh oh shiny toy called Mobile, must have -> Windows 8
            4) Oh oh shiny toy called Objective C, must have -> "refocusing on C++, and throwing .NET under the bus"
            5) Oh oh shiny toy called Search Engine, must have -> Bing
            6) Oh oh shiny toy called Online docs, must have -> Office 365
            7) Oh oh shiny toy called JavaScript HTML, must have -> WinRT
            8) Oh oh shiny toy called cloud computing (AWS), must have -> Azure

            I know there are more, but Ballmer sees a shiny toy and like a pin the tail on the donkey game adds it to Microsoft products. Yet the problem is that it is second rate and people just don't use it. Microsoft has become a massive laggard in new ideas and new technologies. Granted they were not that innovative to begin with, but at least back then they did do something interesting things like Office (it used to be individual apps that did not work together), COM/OLE, or even Windows NT, and drivers. Ironically people don't give Microsoft credit for making the driver architecture work. Before Windows, drivers were a bleeding pain in the arse. Sure there were ideas on unifying, but Windows actually made it work effeciently.

            • by F34nor (321515)

              Is addition he is a bully left over from the monopoly times and when he can't sell it it breaks knuckles. Neither approach seems to work for me these days. It is a shame all the VPs are at each other throats for his job instead of trying to make the company work.

            • Re:Well, (Score:4, Insightful)

              by steelfood (895457) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @04:45PM (#44170189)

              back then they did do something interesting things

              That's probably because all the real innovators they swiped from DEC for NT are no longer around or heavily involved in any new projects.

          • Microsoft nowadays strikes me as being somewhat in zombie mode with some departments coming up with good ideas and getting them through all by themselves without any help from leadership and other departments coming up with awful ideas (Windows 8 Metro) and pushing them through with no real leadership opposition either.

            It takes a surprising amount of skill (luck?) to keep a company running like this. Think of HP, there are many ways this can go wrong.

            I'm not sure why people remember the 'old days' of Microsoft so fondly.....that's the era that created Microsoft Bob, Windows ME, and Visual Basic.

          • Re:Well, (Score:4, Interesting)

            by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:03PM (#44166587)

            I think Ballmer's flaw is that he has no vision, whilst Steve Jobs knew a good product when he saw one and knew when resources needed to be poured into it, and also knew when a product was a lost cause and knew when to axe it I don't think Ballmer is capable of that.

            Steve Jobs also used Apple products and always had a hand in design. While they could be little things that mattered (like iPod syncing upon attaching the cable) to more trivial items (lack of screws), everyone knew Jobs was in charge and he was an asshole when he didn't get his way. With Ballmer it doesn't seem he's involved at all with key decisions. Anyone who tried to use Win 8 on desktop would have seen that using a tablet interface on a desktop was bound to cause user rebellion.

          • Or in other words I think Ballmer is a relatively passive leader...

            Christ, I'd hate to see the "active leader" version of Ballmer... How many chairs does he have to throw to qualify? Then again, maybe I'm confusing "Active" with "Aggressive".

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        I suspect the scene ended more along the lines of Ballmer throwing a chair at Mattrick and screaming "Get the fuck out and never come back, you piece of shit!"

        • by Xest (935314)

          They should have videoed it and used it as the bootup animation for the XBox One.

          Now that would win people back.

      • Re:Well, (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RogueyWon (735973) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:25AM (#44166121) Journal

        Yes, this feels like a case of emergency damage limitation. After a period in the mid-point of the current console cycle where things seemed to be going their way, Microsoft have had a fairly poor late cycle (unpopular 3rd-gen dashboard, a drought of major exclusives, overtaken by the PS3 in global installed-base stakes). This all culminated in a very difficult lead-up to E3 and an absolute disaster at E3 itself.

        The company went in the wrong direction with always-online DRM and, arguably worse, didn't have a convincing story to tell on why it was going that direction in the first place. Admittedly, they probably got dumped on by some of their industry partners. In particular, EA claiming that they never wanted always-online DRM and denying that they had anything to do with its inclusion in the XBone was reminiscent of a small child frantically wiping cake-crumbs off his mouth while emphatically denying that he raided the fridge to steal the cake. But ultimately, whatever pressure there was on MS from publishers to go the always-online route, Sony recognised that it was a better long term strategy to side with the customers instead. MS's about-turn since E3 is welcome, but it hasn't helped the company's reputation.

        And reptuation is probably what this is about. Not so much reputation with the general public, but reputation with shareholders. From its early days as a long-shot cash-hungry investment, the Xbox line has become a big part of MS's business. With the Windows side of the business not doing very much and with the company's attempts to get into the phone and tablet market not going very far, annual reports have shown that Xbox and Office are basically the two big growth areas in Microsoft.

        On the day of E3 it looked like MS was about to commit suicide in one of those two areas. Shareholders will not have liked that. And while the general gaming public has welcomed MS's u-turn since then, shareholders will have liked it even less. Why? Because it smacks of confusion and a lack of a strategy. If MS had stood firm, then at least shareholders might have clung to the belief that the board knew what it was doing here and would be proved right in the long run. With a u-turn, it seems that the executive team has been making decisions that it doesn't even believe in itself.

        So now, Ballmer (who, rather oddly, still enjoys a lot of shareholder confidence) steps in personally to provide reassurance that the company recognises it has a problem and is getting a strategy in place to fix it.

        If the games industry in particular (and the tech sector in particular) had smarter and more in-touch shareholders, then a lot of executive teams would be getting very uncomfortable. However, there seems to be little chance of that happening any time soon.

        • Re:Well, (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Xest (935314) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:42AM (#44166349)

          I think you're right about DRM being put in originally somewhat at the behest of companies like EA. Microsoft has bagged itself a lot more exclusives and a lot more big names this time round at it's launch than Sony and I have no doubt that that was part of a deal on their DRM policy. Where that leaves them now with said deals I've no idea - it's also quite possible the companies themselves realised that if they forced Microsoft to keep the DRM as part of said deals that there'd be no installed console base to even sell their exclusive titles on in the first place. It's possible that they were part of the u-turn themselves if this were the case.

          • You would think that MS would have learned after the Zune squirting fiasco that DRM could harm a decent product by negating good features. Maybe MS doesn't have the backbone to stand up to the content companies.
            • Re:Well, (Score:4, Insightful)

              by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:54PM (#44167399) Homepage Journal
              Microsoft just can't seem to find a happy place with DRM. They saw the iPod and said "we can do that, only better because you'll be able to share the music!" That sounded great, but then the reality set in that they would have to implement some incredibly onerous DRM to appease the record labels who had just spent the last decade with brown pants after they saw how easy it was to share music digitally. This meant that even though the Zune technically had more features than an iPod, the DRM was also up and in your face constantly unlike the iPod, causing people to resent your product. The best DRM is the one you don't notice.

              And then Apple removed DRM from the iTunes Music Store and it was game over.

              This is also a case where Microsoft's strategy of always going second backfired. Normally it allows them to avoid risky maneuvers by letting other companies test the waters so Microsoft only jumps in once they're sure it is safe. However, this meant that a great many potential customers already had a ton of music in iTunes and didn't want to leave that behind just to use a product that was pretty much the same as the one they already had.
              • Re:Well, (Score:4, Insightful)

                by gorzek (647352) <gorzekNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @02:31PM (#44168729) Homepage Journal

                In other words, Microsoft's problem over (at least) the past decade is that they're no longer a market leader. They no longer get to dictate which way the market goes. Used to be, whatever they put out the door--Windows, Office, etc.--people snapped it up and got on board. Now? Windows 8 sparked rebellion. Their mobile operating systems have been aborted and reborn so many times users are gun shy about giving them another try (to say nothing of how ultimately saturated the smartphone market is anyway.) And now they've managed to burn up much of the goodwill they built with the Xbox division by having such a disastrous showing at E3. Again, they were left following what a superior competitor put on the table, rather than anticipating what the market would want and offering it before anyone else did.

                Admittedly, that's a very hard thing to do, but you'd think a company as large as MS, with so many talented people, and with such vast resources, could do a lot better than they have. But then vision and leadership come from the top. It's what made Apple work so well for so long. As noted elsewhere, Ballmer is not and never has been a visionary. I have no doubt he's a competent manager and salesman--he might even be great at those roles--but a CEO has to offer a clear, unifying vision to motivate everyone under him, and MS' vision has been so disjoint and erratic over the past decade or more as to be no vision at all. It's become a company of "me too"-ing.

          • Re:Well, (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Anubis IV (1279820) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @06:18PM (#44170829)

            Microsoft has bagged itself a lot more exclusives and a lot more big names this time round at it's launch than Sony...

            I've heard this line repeated a few times, and I believed it to be true as well when I heard the announcements about the DRM, since catering to third-party publishers was the only rational explanation I could come up with, but all of the evidence I've seen so far seems to indicate that Microsoft actually didn't manage to secure that many exclusives from third-party publishers. In fact, compared to Sony, they're nowhere close. For instance, sort the lists at the following links according to the "Exclusive" column:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Xbox_One_games [wikipedia.org]
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_PlayStation_4_games [wikipedia.org]

            At the time of this post, the numbers break down as:
            XBO - 4 exclusives from publishers besides Microsoft (EA's Titanfall is the only major title of those)
            PS4 - 25ish* exclusives from publishers besides Sony (including games from Atlus, Blizzard, Capcom, Digital Extremes, and Square-Enix)

            If Microsoft bit the DRM bullet in order to win exclusives from third-party publishers, they have yet to show evidence that their plan bore any fruit. That said, they did manage to win a number of exclusives from third-party developers by publishing the games under their Microsoft Studios umbrella, but since they're publishing those themselves, they wouldn't have had any pressure from outside sources to introduce DRM of the sort they did, leaving me right back where I started: confused about what their motivation for the DRM was in the first place.

            * The number has "ish" on it because there are 24 definite exclusives with 3 more that have publishers labeled as TBA.

      • here is what I think happened. Don did the unveil and everybody saw the drm and thought woa... Though remember that Microsoft is only one of many who have doing this pain in the arse drm. Sony sensing a market opportunity decided on a 180 and said, "we are good and will do no DRM". Don't think Sony is the innocent party as Sony has shown often enough that they are friends of DRM. Sony just did a fake out and Microsoft had to follow suit.

        Don seeing this 180 is thrown under the bus and he decides to seek his

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        And lets face it, this is all happening relatively quickly, MS may not have someone lined up to take that job, and they can hire for it a month from now with a bunch of shiny new press about all the customer driven changes they've made before launch.

        I seriously doubt Ballmer wants to actually deal with being the one in charge of the entertainment division on top of his actual job. Not for any reason other than he's likely got enough other work to do.

      • As this [youtube.com] video explains, Don and Microsoft have likely known for a long time that he was going to Zynga, since the notice time for a job like his is longer than a few weeks. So his leaving was nothing to do with the XBox One stuff.
        • by jandrese (485)
          Either that or Don knew for some time that the DRM stuff was going to be a fiasco and was preparing his parachute for months.
    • There goes the xbox.

      I realize my opinion on this isn't shared by everyone, but I have a strong suspicion ALL of the new consoles are going to have disappointing sales because gaming has largely moved on (hard-core gamers to PCs, casual gamers to Android/iOS phones and iPads). But, now, if XBox One doesn't do well, it will be seen as Ballmer's fault by many people - even if he had little to do with this particular failure.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Which would be great for microsoft. As much as I malign them, they really do deserve a better leader.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      There goes the xbox.

      Are you kidding?!?

      Steve Ballmer's Chair-throwing Battledrome will be a massive hit!

    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      There goes the company.

      Ballmer has been in charge of the company during some of it's worst screwups.

      Xbox was really the last bastion of hope for MS to not be a total failure.

      They are very good at putting the cart before the horse.

      When Xbox goes down in flames due to inflexibility, They can no longer blame Mattrick.

      I guess this is what the modern corporation doesn't understand. They fight against unionized workers every day, but fighting against unionized consumers is a losing prospect every time.

  • ... where everytime I push any button on the controller... ... Ballmer jumps up on stage and says "GAMERS".... .... press it n number of times...

    and he goes...

    'GAMERS GAMERS GAMERS GAMERS GAMERS .....

  • by meowgoesthecat (2872191) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:52AM (#44165667)
    ...somewhere, the Sony executives just let out a chuckle.
    • Why? I'm really debating this coming generation of consoles. I'm partial to the PS4 because it's BSD based and I'm still a BSD geek at heart and at the moment the only title I'd miss are the future Halo installments and frankly Halo 4 just didn't seem like "Halo" to me. I don't know why, it's just sat collecting dust most of these past 6 months.

      But I wouldn't put it past Sony to launch a patch this time next year that included some kind of "DRM". Hell if they removed OtherOS I don't put it past them to

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:53AM (#44165669)
    Makes my recent comment [slashdot.org] look kind of funny...
  • Reorg (Score:5, Interesting)

    by recoiledsnake (879048) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:53AM (#44165673)

    A major reorg of MS is imminent, hence Ballmer doesn't want to reveal the real head yet and asked them to report to him for the time being. Tired of Slashdot's misleading and biased headlines and summary.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sribe (304414)

      A major reorg of MS is imminent, hence Ballmer doesn't want to reveal the real head yet and asked them to report to him for the time being. Tired of Slashdot's misleading and biased headlines and summary.

      What, exactly, is misleading about it???

      MS, according to you, is in such a state of disarray that Ballmer cannot reveal the real head of Xbox, but instead has to step in temporarily??? And we expect that pending reorg to accomplish what, exactly???

      • Re:Reorg (Score:5, Informative)

        by recoiledsnake (879048) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:23AM (#44166085)

        You have absolutely no clue how big reorganizations are handled in big companies. First everything is done in secret as much as possible with the fewest people knowing. Then each person is called to the CEOs Office and informed about the reorg. Things do leak, but revealing rumors and the CEOs hand early causes damage. Do things any differently(letting people know from the media or other employees) and it's going to cause a lot of bad blood and bad morale on top of those caused by the decisions themselves. The process is the same in almost all organizations including Google, so I don't know what you're foaming at the mouth for.

        MS, according to you, is in such a state of disarray that Ballmer cannot reveal the real head of Xbox, but instead has to step in temporarily??? And we expect that pending reorg to accomplish what, exactly???

        This reorg is just not just about switching heads, it about reorganizations the divisions themselves. There may not be a Xbox division at all and instead may be merged into a new hardware division along with Surface etc.

    • Well, it's actually quite factual, (if rather breathless, but what do you expect from a headline - deadpan?), Balmer is indeed taking direct charge.
      Probably while he works out who the replacement should be; quite sensible.
      This late in the game, Balmer will probably do little more than supervise the implementation of the existing plan.

      Hard to see how this is amazing news, through possibly good for venting a little more MS hate, which will probably drag in the same anti-Sony crowd, as usual. *sigh*

    • That's certainly something that a sane, logical, and rational human being who puts the well-being of his company ahead of management politics would do.

      Child posts are free to add the punchline.

      • That's certainly something that a sane, logical, and rational human being who puts the well-being of his company ahead of management politics would do.

        Child posts are free to add the punchline.

        Post misleading flamebait stories on Slashdot to get more ad clicks and revenue?

        Oh wait... you weren't talking about Timothy and Slashdot/Dice Holdings?

  • by sensationull (889870) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:54AM (#44165695)

    What little chance it had left it has now lost, tell us Steve, how much more boxy are you going to make it, how many more user hostile features are you going to add, what useful features can be stripped out and replaced by junk. By the time it launches it will be able to search for your keys in 30 different languages, tell you are about to have a heart attack, that you are due for a prostate check and that you have 50 new marketing emails from facebook. The one thing it won't be able to do is play games.

    • by JWW (79176)

      I find myself imagining that about two years ago there must have been a big internal meeting at Microsoft, and Ballmer must have been up on stage yelling ... "RECTANGLES RECTANGLES RECTANGLES!!!!".

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        My god, that joke is so ridiculously tired. Its been freaking YEARS, come up with some new material. Its not funny.

  • He's a moron. He doesn't understand the business AT ALL. Plus, he's obnoxious as hell.

    • by Zimluura (2543412)

      here are some possibilities:

      a) they're scared they won't make it out of the room, though if the board organized they would probably be able to overpower him with only minor casualties.

      b) his net worth of 15.2billion (not sure how much is ms stock) they could be scared of what happens afterward.

      c) the ms board is as out of touch with the market as ballmer is, and don't think something is wrong.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      These optical splitters — too accurate for MS people. Only NSA contractors are so precise.
    • The stockholders tried to fire him but he and Bill Gates own most of the stock, he and Bill are best of friends and Bill still dominates the board so the board can't and/or won't kick him out either.

    • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:47AM (#44166393)

      He's a moron. He doesn't understand the business AT ALL. Plus, he's obnoxious as hell.

      He doesn't really have to be at that level, all he has to do is be an alpha male, leader of the pack. Look at the developers thing on Youtube and you can see it perfectly clearly. He bounces around and screams and veins are popping out on his head like he wants to kick the shit out of something. It's the angry red faced jock mentality that got him to where he is, it wasn't despite it.

      Often company directors don't get to where they are by being exceptionally capable or understanding their business, but because they're wired to be willing to bully and cajole and throw as much shit as is necessary to advance their careers.

      • by ctusch (1221836)

        Sound a lot like politicians. It's a sad fact that the skills you need to get to a position of power are not the ones you need when you are there.

      • by gtall (79522)

        I doubt Ballmer is worse than was Al "Chainsaw" Dunlap, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_J._Dunlap [wikipedia.org]. He's the fellow that destroyed Sunbeam among others. From the wiki page:

        "In 2005, the business magazine Fast Company included Dunlap in the article 'Is Your Boss a Psychopath', noting he "might score impressively on the Corporate Psychopathy checklist." [13] The magazine's editor. John A. Byrne, noted: "In all my years of reporting, I had never come across an executive as manipulative, ruthless, and destru

    • I'd have to guess he's not fired because he's not a moron, he understands the business much better than you, and well, he is obnoxious, I'll grant you that.
  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:56AM (#44165715)

    Look out for flying chairs!

  • by kannibal_klown (531544) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:59AM (#44165753)

    The world is invaded by aliens, the country is in shambles...

    There's only one weapon that can save you now: the might CHAIR

    Throw chairs at your enemies and defend your planet. Customize and purchase new chairs: from the basic metal folding chair to the antique wingback

    Coming to a store near you in 2014

    • by Dracos (107777)

      I envision an inversion of XBill, where Ballmer must throw chairs at Linuses trying to install Linux on networked machines.

  • Joe replaced Bob as the manager at the local frozen yogurt stand.

  • Deja vu? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kwpolska (2026252) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:05AM (#44165837)
    Steven Sinofsky, the moron responsible for Windows 8, left Microsoft a very short while after releasing Windows 8. We have a quite similar scenario here, save for the quit happening a bit earlier, but still after shit hit the fan.
  • The subject line pretty much says it all. The only real question here is, how long will it take him to well-and-truly trash the XBox division, such that it's no longer recoverable?

  • by Skiron (735617) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:13AM (#44165933) Homepage

    It should be eXboss

  • Imagine a nuclear submarine. You have a power plant with a seemingly limitless supply of fuel compared to conventional designs, which grants you the ability to operate at high speed underwater for long periods of time with only occasional needs to surface for air. However, it only works because you have a thick layer of shielding that protects the crew from direct exposure to the power source. Now consider the kind of energy Ballmer radiates. Technically, he is in slow decline, but he has a half life of abo
  • by Tridus (79566) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:23AM (#44166091) Homepage

    Believe it or not, I actually think this is better.

    Let's be honest here, the reveal and everything since has been a fiasco. Mattrick was the guy in charge, and he blew it in "they'll teach this in business schools" fashion. They made a lot of mistakes with the Xbox One, Sony took their lunch money, and pre-orders have been disappointing.

    Ballmer can't really do worse, though I don't expect he'll do a ton better. So much damage has already been done to the brand name that trying to sell it as the most expensive system on the market isn't going to fly. People don't hear the name "Xbox One" and think "worth a premium price". They hear it and think "that's the thing my friends on Facebook said sucked, why would I pay more for that?"

    Ballmer might also be open to the drastic step necessary to right the ship - make a version without the Kinect and charge $100 less for it. Pricing problem solved, and early adopter core gamers don't give a rats ass about Kinect anyway.

  • glad my Sony Playstation still works good, with Monkeyboy Ballmer at the wheel XBox is sure to blunder, it was Ballmer that was in charge of WinME and Vista and they both flopped just like XBox will again
  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:49AM (#44166417)

    Seems like when the Captain takes over for the fired manager of the engine room, that the Captain has given up his command of the mega-ship.

    Microsoft seems headed toward a Titanic split where the board separates the company into individual smaller companies and, of course, all new CEOs of those new public companies.

  • Ballmer Kong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:59AM (#44166541) Homepage
    I don't know why everyone is so down on Ballmer in this story. I think he's perfect. For years, Nintendo have made a ton of money off of a great big monkey. Now, Microsoft are finally competing on equal terms.

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