Former Microsoft executive Joachim Kempin has brutally laid into CEO Steve Ballmer, accusing him of stifling younger potential rivals who could have benefited the business and being too out of touch with the audience.
"For Microsoft to really get back in the game seriously, you need a big change in management," Kempin told Reuters while discussing his newly-released book Resolve and Fortitude. "As much as I respect Steve Ballmer, he may be part of that in the end. They need somebody maybe 35-40 years old, a younger person who understands the Facebook Inc generation and this mobile community. They don't need this guy on stage with this fierce, aggressive look, announcing the next version of Windows and thinking he can score with that."
"Is he a great CEO? I don't think so," he continued. "Microsoft's board is a lame duck board, has been forever. They hire people to help them administer the company, but not to lead the company. That's the problem."
"They missed all the opportunities they were talking about when I was still in the company. Tablets, phones ... we had a tablet going, we had tablet software when Windows XP came out, it was never followed up properly."
Kempin also alleges that Ballmer stifled rising stars to avoid them becoming rivals for his position, such as ex-COO Richard Belluzzo and perhaps J Allard.
Does Microsoft need a change in management?
Yeah, probably. Or at least keep Ballmer off-camera from now on...