Thursday, January 22, 2009

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Ballmer wimps out in first challenge


  1. No one should be deciding how much money is acceptable for a company to make except for the people who own that company. No matter if its a small business like mine or a big one like MS. If getting rid of 5000 workers eliminates middle men and unnecessary bureaucracy from Microsoft that could certainly help them keep pace with the market. Microsoft’s “challenge” as a business is to make money and increase market share, not trying to figure out how to keep 5000 workers they probably don’t need.

    By Blogger James A. Morman, at 1/23/2009 03:52:00 AM

  2. So people outside a company should not be criticizing how that company operates? Not sure I agree with that, but even if I did, I'd still have permission to criticize since Microsoft is a publicly traded company.

    Anyone who has money in a tech fund (which unfortunately includes me) probably owns a piece of Microsoft, and I did specifically select a fund that included them. If that's not good enough, I can hop over to to cement my right to criticize with a crisp stock certificate. Would that be sufficient, or do I have to be a majority owner to have permission to voice my opinion?

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1/23/2009 07:59:00 AM

  3. Criticize away :)

    By Blogger James A. Morman, at 1/23/2009 08:11:00 AM

  4. Thanks, I will. And just to clarify, my beef is with Ballmer's leadership on this. If he can't stand up for his employees when the company is making a substantial profit, what's he going to do if times really do get tough? When I look at Microsoft, I see great technology hobbled by unimaginative marketing and now weak leadership. If they were turning over that leadership and marketing, I could agree with that on the basis of moving the company in a different direction, but these are broad cuts for the sake of padding the bottom line. Fewer people doing more of the same does not denote a strategy.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1/23/2009 09:31:00 AM

  5. Cutting your workforce can be part of a strategy. I work on a much smaller scale but I have seen first hand more work get done when less people were working. A good leader does stand behind his workforce, I take responsibility for everything my people do. However, if I see a place where we can save money, I do it, regardless of how much money I have already made. That's just good business. Payroll and benefits makes up the largest percentage of most companies expenses, so that gets looked at first.
    Another thing I have heard since last October is that many businesses were going to make pre-emptive layoffs in anticipation of the economic situation and the incoming administration. I have seen many businesses to do this but not admit that that was the reason. The only one I have seen admit publicly that they did it for this reason was World Wrestling Entertainent (only because I follow wrestling). They cut 10% of their office staff across the board and a number of wrestlers and referees.

    By Blogger James A. Morman, at 1/23/2009 01:32:00 PM

  6. I'm all for strategy, but Ballmer didn't lay down a strategy. He cited the weak economy as the reason, or rather, excuse. Had he announced retirements, as Sony has done following their first-ever loss, or a restructuring plan, like GE is with their major drop in profit, then I could admit he's doing something. But he didn't. Instead of pushing a strategy that involved layoffs, he wimped out and blamed the economy for the layoffs. That's not good leadership.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1/23/2009 02:25:00 PM

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