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Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year 179

Posted by samzenpus
from the teaching!-teaching!-teaching! dept.
redletterdave (2493036) writes "When Steve Ballmer announced he was stepping down from Microsoft's board of directors, he cited a fall schedule that would "be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the NBA season." It turns out Ballmer will teach an MBA class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business in the fall, and a class at USC's Marshall School of Business in the spring. Helen Chang, assistant director of communications at Stanford's Business School, told Business Insider that Ballmer will be working with faculty member Susan Athey for a strategic management course called "TRAMGT588: Leading organizations." As for the spring semester, Ballmer will head to Los Angeles — closer to where his Clippers will be playing — and teach a course at University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. We reached out to the Marshall School, which declined to offer more details about Ballmer's class.
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Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

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  • by silentcoder (1241496) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:06AM (#47719235) Homepage

    that will include a chapter on how to select the most throwable chair.

  • by 0xdeaddead (797696) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:07AM (#47719239) Homepage Journal

    and know what not to do. If anything Steve is the textbook example on how an MBA brought zero growth to Microsoft, and destroyed not only two biggest cash cows in history, Windows & Office, but doomed the company to failure by de-incentiving through MBA theory of the week games like bands, to constantly backdooring H1B1'ing the workforce.

    Gates made Microsoft, but Balmer destroyed it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:15AM (#47719275)

      Gates made Microsoft, but Balmer destroyed it.

      By what metric?

      http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/msft/financials
      $62 Billion in revenue in 2010 and 87 Billion when he retired.

      Compare these to win Ballmer first took over

      "REDMOND, Wash., July 18, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced revenue of $22.96 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2000, a 16 percent increase over the $19.75 billion reported last year. Net income totaled $9.42 billion."

      So under his 14 year reign, revenue damn near quadrupled. It would appear that the only place he failed is in your mind.

      • by rmdingler (1955220) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:35AM (#47719381)
        Much like the coach in his new venture into the NBA,

        the CEO is often given too much of the blame when things go poorly,

        and too much of the credit when things go well.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by lord_mike (567148)

        Ballmer defenders like to point out the stock value and revenue numbers, which is valid, however Ballmer's reign ended Microsoft's dominance in mindshare and allowed their monopoly to essentially break up. Their revenue gains were made at a great cost to the company's prestige and future dominance and are likely to be short lived. There is only one product now that is making money and that is Office/Exchange and their cloud version of that. The desktop Windows market is shrinking rapidly, Surface is a fi

        • You missed out Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio and the Dynamics range of products. All of them are making plenty of money [microsoft.com].

          • by lord_mike (567148)

            My reference to Exchange/Office was meant to include other "back office" products as well, since once a business is a "Microsoft shop", they tend to use Microsoft products for most of their other needs as well. While this is a highly profitable arrangement for Microsoft, it makes them even more vulnerable to a competitor coming in and offering an cheaper better solution by breaking up the "microsoft shop" mini-monopolies at businesses. Microsoft doesn't tend to fare well with open competition once their bar

            • And they tend not to want to spend huge sums of money rewriting their custom code and rebuying all the third-party stuff, assuming it's even available for Linux or whatever else you think a competitor would be. What are the drop-in replacements for Exchange, SQL Server, .NET, Sharepoint, Dynamics and Biztalk? Migrating away from Blackberry is easy by comparison. There are plenty of MDMs available nowadays, including one from Microsoft.

            • by gtall (79522)

              What you see as a monopoly, MS users see as integration.

              There is no obvious candidate to offer what MS is offering businesses. And the entrenched apps only run on Winders.

              I'd like to see MS destroyed, every last venomous tentacle of it. Currently, I see no vehicle for that to happen.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Your analysis is only partly correct; you've missed out on all the other business software they make tons of money on. MS is only highly profitable because of their business software, and the usage of their software in offices: Windows, Office, Sharepoint, Windows Server, SQL Server, etc etc. The place where they're failing abysmally is with consumers: they still sell (desktop) Windows of course, but they probably don't make much money with the home versions, and people aren't buying new PCs that much any

          • For me, I am hard to pressed to think of something that Ballmer actually brought that was new and not a hold over from Gates. Windows, Office, Windows Server, and SQL Server all existed before Ballmer took over. I think Xbox was also in the works too when Gates left. Sharepoint to me isn't exactly something to celebrate. Instead, I see Ballmer squander opportunities. Windows Mobile was the largest mobile platform at one point until iPhone and Android decimated it because it became stagnant. MS missed bad
          • by Carewolf (581105)

            Your analysis is only partly correct; you've missed out on all the other business software they make tons of money on. MS is only highly profitable because of their business software, and the usage of their software in offices: Windows, Office, Sharepoint, Windows Server, SQL Server, etc etc. The place where they're failing abysmally is with consumers: they still sell (desktop) Windows of course, but they probably don't make much money with the home versions, and people aren't buying new PCs that much any more, and instead are buying smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android). MS's consumer offerings are ignored or laughed at: Surface, Windows Phone, etc. haven't done well. Xbox doesn't look like it's doing all that well any more either.

            Basically, if MS cut out most of the consumer ventures, they'd be far more profitable. But there's definitely a tie-in there: people like to use software at work that they're familiar with, so if MS abandons the consumer space altogether, it wouldn't be long before companies shift to something else for their desktops, and then the rest of the MS infrastructure would crumble too.

            So they are slowly becoming the IBM of the software industry?

            So, when will they sell the consumer parts to a Chinese company?

        • Ballmer defenders like to point out the stock value and revenue numbers, which is valid, however Ballmer's reign ended Microsoft's dominance in mindshare and allowed their monopoly to essentially break up.

          Mindshare dominance was temporary. And achieving it in the first place was not purely Microsoft's doing. The screwups of their competitors (Apple - Mac OS, IBM - OS/2) factored into this greatly. For example Apple's numerous errors in the late 80s and early 90s. Similarly Apple's getting things right is more recent years helped to end MS mindshare dominance. For example Apple switching to Intel and allowing Windows onto their hardware. This alone doubled Apple's market share. Windows was a necessity for man

        • by kuzb (724081)

          >The desktop Windows market is shrinking rapidly

          No it isn't. All you're seeing is that PCs are now better built and more robust. People don't need the latest breakthrough in technology because the last breakthroughs are still carrying them. I ran my last video card for 6 years before I felt the need to replace it and that was because it was damaged, not because the specs of the card itself were not good enough.

          What you see as a "shrinking market share" is actually people who are happy enough with thei

          • What's the difference?

            What matters to Microsoft is Windows sales per unit time. These are cut down for several reasons. First, computers are lasting longer. There are no longer massive improvements in performance in a few years, and so the number of replacements sold is down. Second, lots of people don't really need Windows, but can get by just fine with tablets and Chromebooks and such. Third, and this is probably minor, Windows 8 bombed because Microsoft insisted on pushing a crappy UI on it.

      • > It would appear that the only place he failed is in your mind.

        I'm afraid that Mr. Ballmer was considered a liability by various stock analysts and stock holders by the end of his tenure. The failures of the smartphone, Zune media player, Surface tablet and Windows 8 to make their sales goals or to generate loyal user bases were demonstrable failures of his leadership. I'll challenge you to find _one_ loyal customer of any of those products, one who actually prefers it to an Iphone, Ipod, cheap notebook

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          >I'll challenge you to find _one_ loyal customer of any of those products, one who actually prefers it to an Iphone, Ipod, cheap notebook, or Windows 7.

          I'm sorry to inform you, but it's not that hard to find a loyal customer for any of these products in online forums like this (though that person may just be a shill, it's impossible to tell). There's always some moron who pipes up and talks about how much he loves Windows 8 Metro or Surface or Windows Phone.

          As for the Zune, no one uses those any more be

          • > it's not that hard to find a loyal customer

            Then please, do name one. Please don't say "it's easy to do". If it's that easy, feel free.

            > But there's a fair number of people who said they really liked their Zunes just for playing MP3s (back when they used them), they just didn't like the crappy sharing feature or the MS music store or the way MS screwed up "PlaysForSure".

            I'm afraid that you've just reinforced my point.

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              >Then please, do name one. Please don't say "it's easy to do". If it's that easy, feel free.

              I don't have to, just go read through the comments. You'll find a MS-lover sooner or later. No, they aren't nearly as numerous or loud as Apple lovers, but they are out there. If you think there isn't a single MS fan out there in the world somewhere, you're seriously delusional.

      • by the_B0fh (208483)

        Isn't it the point that he single handedly pissed away Microsoft's lead in tablets, phones, office, windows and Xbox? Making lots of money is easy when you have an illegal monopoly you can leverage.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        I think many people feel that Microsoft missed the boat on many opportunities.
        The Mobile market to start with. They had a Mobile OS years before Microsoft and failed to innovate enough to move it into the consumer market. They had a lock on enterprise email but it was RIM that made the solution for mobile email.
        They failed in the media market.
        They are doing well in enterprise but Chromebooks and boxes are becoming more of a danger. They are not doing well in the tablet market at all. WP8 is good but maybe

    • Let's just be thankful he's teaching business courses and not IT courses!
    • by gtall (79522)

      "de-incentiving"...clearly you are not MBA material. This should be "de-incentivising". Let's use it in a sentence, shall we: With the leading indicators trailing down, and the trailing indicators leading up, we are energizing the workforce into a synergistic Total Product Reversal by de-incentivising the individuals with respect to their personal incentives so that they may contribute to the overwhelming strategy we are developing vis-a-vis our growth outlook.

    • ... If anything Steve is the textbook example on how an MBA brought zero growth to Microsoft, and destroyed not only two biggest cash cows in history, Windows & Office ...

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]: "Under Ballmer's tenure as CEO, Microsoft's annual revenue surged from $25 billion to $70 billion, while its net income increased 215 percent to $23 billion, and its gross profit of 75 cents on every dollar in sales is double that of Google or International Business Machines Corp. ... These gains came from the existing Windows and Office franchises, with Ballmer maintaining their profitability, fending off threats from cheaper competitors such as GNU/Linux and other

  • by Cornwallis (1188489) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:32AM (#47719367)

    Guaranteeing yet another generation of assholes will be coming down the pike.

  • I think he's teaching high school phys-ed.
  • Is he a scientist? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:40AM (#47719413)

    Is he an actual scientist? Did he do any scientific research? Did he merit a the title of university professor? Sure, he did make money, but that doesn't automatically mean he should earn a title that few people get after working very hard, usually without extreme luxury or profit.

    • by bsDaemon (87307) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @09:08AM (#47719587)

      Well, apparently he did score a perfect 800 on the maths section of the SAT, graduated Harvard magna cum laude with a degree in applied mathematics economics, and won some maths related awards in university. But yeah, go on hating him to hate him. That's very mature of you. That said, he did drop out of Stanford's MBA program to join Microsoft and having the MBA himself would seem like a necessary part of being able to teach in an MBA program. However, 34 years of experience at one of the largest, most profitable companies ever, including many years as President before becoming CEO would certainly seem to be more than enough field experience during which to have gained wisdom (that is, knowing what not to do just as much as what to do) with regards to organizational leadership.

      • by Uberbah (647458)

        graduated Harvard magna cum laude with a degree in applied mathematics economics, and won some maths related awards in university. But yeah, go on hating him to hate him. That's very mature of you.

        Very telling that every one of those accomplishments were from his school days and not in a professional setting.

        However, 34 years of experience at one of the largest, most profitable companies ever

        And promptly pissing away Microsoft's relevance the second he was put in charge of it. Microsoft still dominates in

    • Did you even go to college?

      1. Chances are he will be an Adjunct professor not a full professor. Adjuncts don't need a Doctorate they are normally students who are working on their PHDs but for the most part they are people with enough experience in the topic.

      2. What the heck does being a Scientist have to be about teaching classes in Business Administration? Now the MBA program does have a lot of classes that talk about process management which uses a lot of Computer Science methods. However the MBA isn't

      • by perpenso (1613749) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @12:19PM (#47721359)

        However the MBA isn't a Science based study but a research/practical based study. MBA program is a lot about reading case studies and working to find better solutions.

        An MBA is not like other Master's degrees. One does not delve deeper into on particular field and do research.

        An MBA program is an overview of all the pieces of an organization. It covers statistics, organizational behavior (of people, psychology stuff), accounting, strategy, product development, operations, marketing, leadership, etc. Few of the students are coming from an accounting background, many are in fact coming from science and engineering backgrounds.

        An MBA program doesn't change you, if you were a software engineer going in you are still one going out. However you are now a software engineer who understands the perspective and concerns of those in accounting, marketing and operations and you can now communicate with them more effectively and are more likely to persuade them.

    • by tverbeek (457094)

      Who called him a "scientist"? He's teaching a Business Administration class, not CS.

      Who (other than the /. headline) implied he was being granted a professorship? TFA refers to him as "practitioner" who's being paired with an "academic scholar".

      MBA programs routinely bring in people who may have no academic credentials but have real-world experience administering a business, because they provide valuable insight into the application of the principles that the academics lecture about. Even an ill-tempered

      • by geekoid (135745)

        I disagree. His total experience is with one company, during a unique point in history. You can't teach that because nothing else applies.

        • by tverbeek (457094)

          So someone who's only been married to one person is unqualified to share their experiences about spousal relationships with young people? I have a cousin who just got married; I guess I should warn her that her parents (and grandparents) don't know anything about married life.

    • Have you met some of the MBAs who teach business courses? For a shock, try asking a few of them some fundamental stats questions that a person who has taken some grad-level stats courses (a prerequisite for many scientific/quantitative fields) should be able to answer. I can tell you about MBA profs who use statistical analysis allegedly on a regular basis without knowing the term "R^2".

      Ballmer's probably a step up from quite a few people career academics in the business field.

      • Ballmer's probably a step up from quite a few people career academics in the business field.

        Many professors in MBA programs are not career academics. My marketing professor spent the first ten years of his career as an electrical engineer. The professor in my new product development class had been a mechanical engineer. We made heavy use of statistics and mathematical modeling in his class, I was very pleasantly surprised. My entrepreneurship professor had launched five successful startups in the medical industry. All these and some other professors had real jobs, moved into management, got an MBA

    • by quantaman (517394)

      Is he an actual scientist? Did he do any scientific research? Did he merit a the title of university professor? Sure, he did make money, but that doesn't automatically mean he should earn a title that few people get after working very hard, usually without extreme luxury or profit.

      He's not teaching science, he's teaching business, a subject that as the former CEO of Microsoft he should know a lot about.

      And so what if he didn't earn the title the same way a PhD did? (though he won't be a full Professor)

      It's not about granting him some privilege, it's about giving the students the best business education and I have to think he's in a good position to do that.

    • Like him or hate him the man assisted in creating one of the most powerful commercial entities in history, one that negotiated not just with whole countries but with entire continents. I'd personally pay good money to get a peek behind the curtains, that's the kind of experience you don't usually get in academia, or anywhere.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Anyone in the position he was in would have been able to ride that wave. EVERY product he wanted to happen, and shove through regardless of market, failed.

    • by metlin (258108) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @09:46AM (#47719907) Journal

      B-schools often hire people who are not in academia per se, but have rich real world experience in solving business problems.

      For instance, you will often find senior partners from top consulting firms teaching classes, because they bring to bear not just academic knowledge but also practical experience.

      People who do their MBA are not there to just learn the latest and greatest management technique from academia -- they also seek to apply that to the real world.

      And this is not just true for MBAs -- it is also true for law schools, medical schools, and many other professional degrees. You'll find former judges and lawyers teaching classes, and you'll find doctors and surgeons with real world experience tempering your academic knowledge with their real world experience.

      Public policy is another area where you former civil servants often teaching classes.

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      MBAs aren't like scientific disciplines. Work experience is far more valuable in that context than any sort of research, since it's much closer to a trade school degree than to a university one. As for whether Ballmer's work experience is going to be good for his students....
    • as my History professors and English professors were.

    • What does science have to do with professorships? Who do you think teach liberal arts? chemists?
  • by argStyopa (232550) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:40AM (#47719419) Journal

    Lesson 1: if the company executives are bigger news than the company and more importantly, its products, then you're doing something seriously wrong.

    • by quantaman (517394)

      Lesson 1: if the company executives are bigger news than the company and more importantly, its products, then you're doing something seriously wrong.

      Like Steve Jobs?

    • Like Elon Musk?

      • by kuzb (724081)

        Except nobody outside of tech circles knows who elon musk is. They all know what "Tesla Motors" is though.

        It's like saying James Maxwell was bigger than his math/physics/ideas. This is only true if you're student of it. For everyone else, the conveniences that came out of the ideas are the big thing, and most don't even know who he was.

        On the other hand, everyone and his dog knows who Steve Jobs is, because he was such a narcissist that he set everything up to make it seem like it was all his idea.

  • by Dr. Evil (3501) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:41AM (#47719433)

    Step #2, follow him into success.

    Step #4, take over the company when he steps down.

    Step #5, fail repeatedly throughout a decade.

    Step #6, teach MBA class at Stanford and USC.

    • Where's Step #3? WHERE'S IT?!? I can't continue without it?!?

    • He just followed Bill Gates example;

      Step #1, Join a group of geeks creating Basic

      Step #2, Copyright their openly shared work and then sue them.

      Step #3, Hire a hacker to steal CP/M and reelable the drive letters, then repeat the "steal IP and then sue them" procedure

      Step #4, Repeat the taking of other's ideas and then buy their stock when it collapses then stop suing yourself.

      Step #5, Act like a good lawyer repeatedly and have everyone call you a geek.

      Step #6, Retire in luxury and donate some money to some c

    • Your posting mirrors my own thoughts. Ballmer has absolutely no business teaching anything even remotely related to business, as he has failed at it horribly. He could potentially be a one-class guest speaker on how to pitch a product by parodying others [youtube.com], but that's his only business qualification outside of, "would you like fries with that?"

      The only reason Ballmer got any time at Microsoft is because of his friendship with Bill Gates. Microsoft's janitors probably have more business qualifications than

      • by Dr. Evil (3501)

        I'm okay with Ballmer being friends with Gates and getting a company.

        I'm kinda okay with Ballmer being inept and driving it in circles for a decade. He's practically a founder and he was personally chosen by the founder. He should feel guilty that a lot of people's careers were screwed up by his poor leadership, but without Gates in Microsoft, Apple and Google flourished.

        Sometimes the personal relationships and unfairness at the top is the stuff which leads to a company's wild success. Apple and Face

    • Corrections from above.

      Step #2, follow him into success.

      Step #3, take over the company when he steps down.

      Step #4, fail repeatedly throughout a decade.

      Step #5, somehow get company to pay you over $20 billion for step #4.

      Step #6, teach MBA class at Stanford and USC.

  • How to be a prick? ( well, a lucky wealthy prick.. but still a prick )

  • Those who can't... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MachineShedFred (621896) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:47AM (#47719465) Journal

    It's been said many times - Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.

    • by gsslay (807818)

      And those who don't, comment on those who do.

    • by djbckr (673156) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @12:04PM (#47721211)

      It's been said many times - Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.

      I know where that saying comes from as I have had numerous terrible teachers. However I have had many amazing teachers both in normal public schools and in the corporate world. These people could "do". I also used to teach a popular corporate class and my students always appreciated my insights into the product I taught because I actually worked with it in real life. I quit because of the travel and relatively low pay, but I can very much "do".

      I suppose what I'm getting at is, I don't like that saying - it implies that teachers can't do what they teach. I think that's probably the bad apples that create that sentiment. Along the same lines as "99% of the lawyers give the rest a bad name." I'm sure there are a few more percent that are good.

    • by gtall (79522)

      Really? Care to compete against the physics, chemistry, mathematics professors, Einstein?

    • by Prien715 (251944)

      This is especially true of the Suicide Bomber Training Academy.

    • by GreatDrok (684119)

      "It's been said many times - Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

      I prefer "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach, and those who can't teach, manage"

      In Ballmer's case he seems to be going around in circles, rather like Microsoft who can't choose a direction and stick with it.

  • Maybe he should teach about how not to run a company into the ground by going over his tenure at Msoft.

  • Discussing the motivational forces driving an active leadership role participants will train to mobilise and focus energies.
    (Protective clothing recommended)

  • Biz 101: How to ingratiate yourself with the right people
    Biz 324: Managing technical staff for the non-technical (focus on developers)
    Biz 412: Diversifying your product offerings, and what to do when you fail at it

  • Lesson 1: Make sure your college roommate is Bill Gates.
    Lesson 2: Drop out. You don't need this stuff, go make money.
    Lesson 3: Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers.
    Lesson 4: When a monopoly is handed to you, ride it into the ground.
    Lesson 5: When no one likes you, it's proper to own the L. A. Clippers.

  • I can just imagine how biased and one-sided this class would be
  • Just wondering.

  • How long have I been sleeping? What exactly is there for this man to teach? How to destroy every strategic advantage your company has in 10 years? I mean, I suppose arrogance and ineptitude ARE characteristics of the MBA.
  • It looks like the semester is over do you want me to make small changes to the textbooks so you can have a new edition?

  • 101 - How to keep stocks flat.
    102 - Ignoring the market How to spend billion to have a product fail
    103 - The most important class - How to get lucky and land at a company just before the stocks rocket due to nothing you've personally done.

  • Students students students Students students students Students students students Students students students Students students students Students students students Students students students Students students students Students students students Students students students Students students students

    Please sing the lyric to the tune of Developers, Developers ...

  • Why would anyone want to listen to this lunatic?!

  • I read that as 'start of the MBA season'.. and I was thinking.. no fucking wonder the guy had to leave. Jeezus.

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