Zune Will Never Kill the iPod, But the Next Microsoft CEO Will Try Anyway
Ballmer couldn't get the support of a blame-oriented culture and couldn't make good product decisions from bad information. However, he was a numbers guy who could make good financial decisions. Throughout his reign, Microsoft turned in strong revenues and profits.
The man or woman who replaces Ballmer will be determined to build the next iPod. He or she will still have the same bad information and blame-based culture but won't have the same focus on financials that Ballmer did. This means the part of Microsoft that's actually working is likely to fail, while we'll get a few more Zunes. As much as I liked the latest version of the Zune, I doubt a higher volume of them will make for greater success.
Therefore, Microsoft's next CEO will be more of a failure than Ballmer - unless Microsoft fixes the cause of Ballmer's failure first. Can Microsoft do that, or is the company doomed to embody Albert Einstein's definition of insanity and keep doing the same thing but expecting a different result?
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