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Microsoft CFO Quits 295

Posted by timothy
from the extended-family-is-a-new-twist-on-the-old-lie dept.
McGruber writes "NBC News is reporting that Microsoft's Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein is leaving the company to spend time with his extended family, as Microsoft 'struggles with sharply declining personal computer sales and a lukewarm reception for its new Windows 8 operating system.' Klein is the latest in a line of top-level executives to leave the company, following Windows head Steven Sinofsky last November."
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Microsoft CFO Quits

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @05:25AM (#43513893)

    not to mention the actual financial news prepared by the CFO who just quit this quarter was actually very good for them

    Creative accountants are always wise to move on before the product of their creativity is revealed in all its glory.

  • Re:Shares up? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bloodhawk (813939) on Monday April 22, 2013 @05:39AM (#43513911)
    The 2 are unrelated events. The shares went up because of the very good financial growth MS showed this quarter despite the drop in PC sales.
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday April 22, 2013 @05:50AM (#43513947) Homepage

    They've still got considerable assets which will take a long time to bleed out.

    They basically get money for every PC sold. How is that an unhealthy situation?

    People haven't rushed out in droves to replace their perfectly good PCs because of Windows 8. Tech mags love to make headlines out of that but it doesn't mean Microsoft is in trouble.

  • Re:Shares up? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Monday April 22, 2013 @05:53AM (#43513955) Homepage

    Not saying this is the case, but it would fit:

    "Better than expected earnings" reported followed by "CFO leaving Microsoft." What if it turned out he left because someone insisted on filing deceptive or inaccurate numbers? Leaving in protest of such things would make sense of the two events wouldn't it?

  • Micro$oft (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tuppe666 (904118) on Monday April 22, 2013 @05:56AM (#43513973)

    And you expected something different here? Microsoft's latest numbers are actually astoundingly good, better than even most of the optimists predicted. They speak of a very healthy company, not one in decline at all.

    Microsoft s numbers were *always* very good,, they deserve a $ on their name. 75% Gross profit margin is amazing, but that's not really the news here, because that is consistent. The news is that even with its primary product (Windows) taking a deserved beating they have made the difference up elsewhere (Servers; Gaming...well Live and Cloud...well Office).

    The original poster I suspect was being a little sarcastic, but the Irony is not lost on me. From a financial point of view. Microsoft more diversified product line has saved it in the short term financially, but from where RMS and the rest of us look...Windows has proved to be a trainwreck, and Microsoft is weaker as a monopoly. Its high fives all around.

  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@RABBI ... minus herbivore> on Monday April 22, 2013 @06:28AM (#43514055) Journal

    How is that an unhealthy situation?

    Because partners who've been closely tied to their success are now looking at alternatives.

    "Vendors in China have revealed the Intel has begun to promote Android based convertible tablet/notebooks. Intel is concerned that Windows 8 has been unable to stimulate global demand for notebooks, and since global sales of Android tablets have been increasing, they are looking at reducing their reliance on the Microsoft OS.

    China-based vendor Lenovo will be first to release Intel driven Android systems in May, while Hewlett-Packard (HP), Toshiba, Acer and Asustek Computer will launch theirs in the third quarter."

    http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20130419PD208.html [digitimes.com]

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Monday April 22, 2013 @06:55AM (#43514127)

    Personally I'd buy a huge yacht (inc. surface to air missiles) and sail around the world with a harem of supermodel concubines. For the rest of my natural life...

    Ah, the John McAfee package. Seems to be popular with the techie crowd. We're also having a special this week on the Kim Dotcom plan, if you're interested?

    Ah... anyhow, there's probably a reason that these people are extremely rich and you're not. Luck is obviously a factor, but it takes a certain kind of drive to keep playing the game well after you need to.

  • Re:Come on CEO... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ironhandx (1762146) on Monday April 22, 2013 @07:11AM (#43514199)

    Fixing a problem as large as the one at microsoft is a top-down job. You absolutely require a new CEO to fix it. Therefore stating that Ballmer is by far their largest problem is entirely accurate.

  • by delt0r (999393) on Monday April 22, 2013 @07:33AM (#43514277)
    They still have more than 80% of the desktop market. Doing poorly is means truckloads of money. I can't see MS going anywhere soon.

    Half the problem is stock market expectations. You can't just do well, you must do better than last year. And not just better but the improvement has to be more than the previous year. Its hard to do that when you have pretty much already sold your product to everyone that has a computer.

    As a good economist once said, "Humans don't understand exponential curves".
  • by dingen (958134) on Monday April 22, 2013 @08:44AM (#43514595)

    Even though this is modded down, it's really the bottom line: with Windows XP the operating system was basically done. Complete. Finished. No more features are required. Everything that was added later was either cruft or could just as easily have been implemented in Windows XP. The only reason why Microsoft kept certain things from XP (like proper 64-bit support, IE9+ and DirectX 10+) was to artificially create a reason for people to switch to future versions of Windows, not because XP didn't offer a decent platform for these things.

    Same thing applies to Office by the way, the other big part in Microsoft's revenue stream: both Office and Windows are "done" and have been so for years. And since Microsoft hasn't been able to make any profits in markets outside of the Windows/Office ecosystem, the future of the company currently depends on how much longer they can convince people to keep buying new versions of the same old software. How long before the general public realizes they don't need to "upgrade" because they don't get anything they already have now? Looking at Windows 8 sales figures: not very long.

  • by div_2n (525075) on Monday April 22, 2013 @08:57AM (#43514659)

    Results posted today reflect realities from a bit back in history. The shift away from laptops and desktops is ramping up extremely quickly. I'm not sure I've ever witnessed such a rapid shift in the marketplace. The closest I can think of might be the migration away from IE and that took several years really.

    As an example, within the last week I've had conversations with two family members due new central computing devices. One is looking at a device like the Galaxy Note II as their primary computing device and the other is looking at a tablet. Both female. One 30ish and the other 60ish in age. Neither techies. All family members asking tech questions now are either phone or tablet related. None are asking about laptops or computers. It was exactly reverse a year ago.

    Do my family members make a trend? No. But the sales figures are showing a HUGE shift like I'm seeing.

    There's another trend emerging that is going to hit Microsoft really hard sooner or later that dovetails on the post-PC trend -- BYOD in companies. There are an increasing number of employees for whom tablets are just fine as their primary computing device. Basic productivity software such as Google Apps are just fine for their simple needs.

    It's important to note that Windows 8 was Microsoft's first effort to insulate themselves from this trend. So far, their effort has been mostly a flop. Unless they really right the ship with Windows 9, they will shift from market dominance to just another vendor. And while this will be painful for MS employees and shareholders, it will be great for consumers.

  • Re:Come on CEO... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @09:11AM (#43514749)

    Blackballmer.

  • Re:Come on CEO... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mabhatter654 (561290) on Monday April 22, 2013 @09:43AM (#43514917)

    The root of the problem is that Gates set the company to run business units like mini-startups... With super-tough managers over each one. Then Gates stepped back and provided the money and cheerleading. The problem is that the culture developed of the business unit managers all stabbing EACH OTHER in the back to get ahead. So Office, servers, IE, and Windows units are all to some extent fighting for turf because Gates gave it to two different groups, or technology changed. Ballmer is just continuing what he was taught.

    Steve Jobs took the opposite approach (but only after he was kicked out and came back). If a product or service wasn't worth SETVE'S time then it was "coasting" or cut. Steve built Apple around its CEO paying attention to every detail of new products... And ATTENTION is limited and expensive.

    The idea to chop Microsoft into thirds is Past time. Microsoft should have done it five to ten years ago when they were fighting breaking up. Now, they are fighting to be interesting at all. They need to cut or spinoff technologies.. But they need a CEO that LOVES THEIR PRODUCTS. If anything THAT is what made Steve-notes so special... The CEO of the company knew the product inside out and was excited and loved it! Microsoft needs to shed and pair down until that is true of their products and CEO.

  • Re:Come on CEO... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Monday April 22, 2013 @11:30AM (#43515793) Journal

    Sorry Taco but he really IS the problem. I mean look at their track record under his watch, how many hits have they had? One and a half, Win 7 and X360 (which should only count as a half thanks to the 2.4 billion the RRoD cost) and now lets look at just a PARTIAL list of the failures...Zune, Kin, killing a growing playsforsure market for the DOA Zune market, Sidekick, Vista, 6 billion pissed away for that ad company that went nowhere, more money pissed away for Yahoo Search, 4 billion blown on the Windows 8 launch to get less than 4 million takers (which figures up to $500 for every $40 copy sold,hell he could have just gave everyone $50 for taking it and came out ahead) and WinRT.

    You wanna know the part that REALLY pisses me off? If the rumors are true thanks to Ballmer getting on his knees and begging Intel to save his behind there is a damned good chance Intel can save the Win 8 Vistabomb which will keep his fat ass in the big chair for at least one more release, thanks a fricking lot Intel. For those that haven't heard the rumor is a dual core Atom tablet with Windows 8 for just $225. If they manage to hit that price point you are gonna see a hell of an uptake simply because you won't be able to get anything that will run your Windows software for cheaper and if the new Atom's sub 2w power usage is correct we may actually finally get an all day laptop since they'll most likely sell a keyboard with extra battery ala the transformer.

    But even if Intel manages to save his fat hide it won't change the fact that windows 8 is DOA on desktops and laptops, hell its bad enough all the major hardware sites have "Not ready to switch? We have Windows 7!" ads...the guy is a trainwreck of a CEO, no doubt about it. You could have hired a monkey to throw poo at the stock page and had a better ROI than Ballmer had, he must have blown 20 billion plus these past 6 years and didn't have squat for a ROI.

    Frankly the only positive is if Intel manages to save his fat ass and give him a tablet that sells maybe he will STFU and let Windows 9 be Windows 7.1 but if he sticks to the road he has the company on he can kiss those piles of money they get from X86 desktops and laptops bye bye as all the OEMs are looking at exit strategies. You know that your CEO is made of suck when he actually loses share in a monopoly situation, hell my mom could run the company better than he has.

  • Re:Come on CEO... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Monday April 22, 2013 @12:08PM (#43516171) Journal

    Its not that, its the fact that time and time again he has ignored all the data including their testers, the press, and most importantly their customers, and its cost the company billions.

    I mean why in the fuck even HAVE a beta tester program if you are gonna go "LA LA LA" to every single problem the testers point out? And while you certainly can't always go by the press, as for one thing they all seem enamored so much with smartphones they actually believe people are gonna give up their desktops and laptops for them, but when you have virtually the entire press and blogosphere saying "THIS REALLY SUCKS!" ya know what? it probably DOES really suck and needs to be fixed.

    Yet time and time again he has given the finger to all that aren't drinking the koolaid and its cost them billions.They blew billions of the Vista launch only for it to become the punchline of jokes when all they needed was to fix the more serious issues before launch, blew 8 billion on Skype only to realize they had no damned idea how to monetize it and to make matter worse forced a good chunk of their most loyal users to switch (see the recent uptick in yahoo, I can tell you its the former Hotmail and Windows messenger users jumping ship) because they tried to hamhandedly jam Skype in where it just didn't fit, and of course the billions spent on windows 8 ads when practically every single beta tester and tech blogger was saying its gonna fricking bomb, which what do you know, it did.

    Honestly i don't even know who to compare Ballmer to as i can't think of a CEO that completely ignored everything they were being told, never before have I seen a company so large just whip out a gun and shoot themselves in the head like that. Everyone said Elop was a plant but look at who he learned from folks, Ballmer could be the subject of textbooks dedicated to showing how NOT to run a successful company. When he took over from Gates they were on top of the world, had a monopoly and money to burn, but under Ballmer it became a "lost decade" because he simply didn't know what to do with the company.

  • Re:Come on CEO... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TemporalBeing (803363) <bm_witness.yahoo@com> on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:09PM (#43517359) Homepage Journal

    Honestly i don't even know who to compare Ballmer to as i can't think of a CEO that completely ignored everything they were being told, never before have I seen a company so large just whip out a gun and shoot themselves in the head like that. Everyone said Elop was a plant but look at who he learned from folks, Ballmer could be the subject of textbooks dedicated to showing how NOT to run a successful company. When he took over from Gates they were on top of the world, had a monopoly and money to burn, but under Ballmer it became a "lost decade" because he simply didn't know what to do with the company.

    Ballmer and Elop are probably the only two worth comparing, and you're right - Elop probably learned a lot from Ballmer. Yet it's Elop that got the term "Elop Effect" named after him for what he did to Nokia, and who will certainly go down in the text books for it. Ballmer, though, probably won't be far behind with "Lost Decade", but it's not as catchy, nor has what he done been as dramatic to the company as Elop was with Nokia - and there are a lot of other things that could be linked to the demise of Microsoft as well - Ballmer has only been on (albeit large) factor in the equation.

    Removing Ballmer won't be the whole solution for Microsoft. You need to remove numerous layers of management at the company - getting rid of everyone that has grown up there under Ballmer and Gates, everyone that has that same mentality of having "1 Microsoft Way" for the world of software. Then and only then does Microsoft stand a chance of reviving itself to any degree...

    In the mean time they'll continue to ride out their profits from Windows and Office as the two diminish into oblivion over the next decade.

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