Ex-Microsoft Exec Attacks Ballmer, Gates

Dennis Faas's picture

A former Microsoft executive insists that the firm has "lost its coolness." As a step towards improving the situation, Joachim Kempin is calling for Microsoft chief financial officer Steve Ballmer to resign.

Kempin formerly led Microsoft's OEM group, where he played a key role in overseeing the firm's relationship with its many hardware partners. Kempin left Microsoft in 2002 and has since turned to writing about his experiences in the consumer technology business.

Microsoft's "Secret Power Broker" Speaks Out

His most recent book, "Resolve and Fortitude: Microsoft's 'Secret Power Broker' Breaks His Silence," is receiving plenty of publicity and Kempin is using the limelight to attack his former company. (Source: computerworld.com)

For example, Kempin recently said that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer should resign and that the Redmond, Washington-based firm should consider Kempin as a possible replacement.

So, what's the problem with a Microsoft operating under Ballmer's watch?

Kempin says that the company "has lost its coolness." The best example, in his eyes: public reactions to recent Microsoft and Apple product launches.

"I compare today with the launch of Windows 95, when people were lining up around the block at midnight," Kempin says. (Source: computerworld.com)

"This didn't happen with Windows 7 or Vista. It hardly even happened with Windows 8. But it happens every time when Apple launches a new product."

Microsoft "Basically Malfunctioning," Kempin Says

To Kempin, the problem is that Microsoft "is basically malfunctioning," at least, by comparison to when Kempin was with the firm. At that time, Kempin says, the firm actually innovated. Now, it's simply reacting to other firms' innovative work.

"Back in the late 1990s we had our own tablet under development. It never saw the light of day," Kempin said.

"When I left in 2002 people were talking about social media. We were selling phone software. But we didn't take advantage of any of that."

Kempin hasn't been targeting Ballmer alone, however. He has also taken aim at former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, who Kempin says "miserably failed in guiding the company through the Internet and social network revolution." (Source: businessinsider.com)

Kempin's book, "Resolve and Fortitude," was released in late October 2012.

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