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Businesses Microsoft The Almighty Buck

Microsoft CFO Quits 295

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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  • Come on CEO... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @05:07AM (#43513845)

    do the right thing.

  • by Sadsfae ( 242195 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @05:12AM (#43513853) Homepage

    It'd be bigger news if he quit for another company, while Microsoft is on the decline it's going to be a very slow death spread across
    a decade or two. They've still got considerable assets which will take a long time to bleed out. []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @05:17AM (#43513863)
    not to mention the actual financial news this quarter was actually very good for them as it was an INCREASE not a decline.
  • Re:Shares up? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mike Frett ( 2811077 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @05:45AM (#43513933)

    You should know by now that the Stock Market isn't a very good medium for judging anything; It's no different than a visit to Las Vegas. But, there use to be a time when you could invest in a Company because you cared about the Company and wanted to be a part in it's growing and have a say in what happened. I seriously doubt, these days, that people even know what Company they put money in; they are in and out so fast. We should take it back to that time, and ban all this lightening trading.

    The truth is, Microsoft is dying. It's going to take a long time, but they will eventually bleed to death. We all knew it was coming, nothing lasts forever. Even if they did manage to put on a good show in the next year or so, It is inevitable that such a thing can't last.

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pino Grigio ( 2232472 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @05:48AM (#43513945)
    It's a mystery to me why extremely rich men like Balmer continue with the daily drudgery of running a business like Microsoft. 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...
  • Re:Come on CEO... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @05:51AM (#43513953) Journal

    Ballmer is not the problem --- that guy is only PART of a very BIG problem

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by robnelle ( 541339 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @05:55AM (#43513959)

    It's a mystery to me why extremely rich men like Balmer continue with the daily drudgery of running a business like Microsoft. 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...

    For some people it's not necessarily about just the money, it's about the power. Controlling one of the biggest and most ubiquitous companies in the world = a lot of power.

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

    by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @06:13AM (#43514009)
    As CFO that would still leave him in deep shit as he signed them off as accurate before submitting them, the SEC won't accept an excuse that he was pressured. It would also leave him in a really bad situation where unless the next person in the job is willing to cover up for him (pretty unlikely) then his next job is going to be calculating his very large lawyer bills trying to keep his arse out of jail.
  • Re:Come on CEO... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @06:15AM (#43514015)

    why? I think Ballmer is doing a fantastic job and he should keep up the hard chair throwing work.

    Because for every chair thrown another bad quarter for MSFT happens.

  • by Raumkraut ( 518382 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @06:16AM (#43514017)

    IANAA, but there's "creative accounting", and then there's fraud. One is perfectly legal, the other not. It's like the difference between "tax avoidance" and "tax evasion".

    The thing with creative accounting is not that it hides or creates money from nothing (which would be fraud), but that it moves it around from other places/times. If you see a really good quarter now, it's possibly because some income has been moved from elsewhen. So it might be expected for the next few fiscal quarters to be more disappointing.

    The old guy gets to leave on a high, and the new guy gets to "improve" the company's financials after an initial few bad quarters. It's an accountancy win-win.

  • House of cards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @06:37AM (#43514087)

    it is actually increasing in other markets faster than it's consumer desktop market is eroding.

    I think we need to have a little look at those markets...because its a big fat failure on mobile.

    Its started to make money on a subscription service for a....end of life console. Ignoring the fact that Microsoft is about to put a *TON* of money down on keeping in the console market, or that suddenly its getting competition from, mobile...the market its a big fat failure in, or steam...or the rise of disposable Android console gaming...Hell Sony might try to compete with a console costing costing less than its weight in gold (not that that is worth as much as it was).

    Ok they are starting to make money from online office....hold the page, does that mean Office without Windows, running in a Web direct competition with Google, a company it repeatedly lose against...that it can't bribe or bully. Is this new market...or *the same* market that Office is only without the Windows Monopoly to prop it up, and won't this simply cannibalise current sales of Office.

    Ok they are making more money in video/telephony software one of the reasons they are currently a big fat failure in mobile...because that is in direct competition with the carriers they are trying to sell to!? I am not sure if that is not a home goal.

    Lastly Server Software [] price increases are a double edged sword, profitable in the short term, long term customers may look for low or free cost alternatives.

    There is no way anyone can argue, that Microsoft has a bad quarter, but arguing these are new markets...or that they are more stable than its old monopoly, is simply not the case.

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

    by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @07:04AM (#43514155) Journal

    he represents the problem, and he's also responsible for the company *as* CEO. So either he fixes the problem or he is the problem.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @07:06AM (#43514165)

    Have you ever SEEN Ballmer? I have talked to him in person once and have seen a talk (incoherent rant) by him once. He is the bigges problem they have at MS. They have others but he is by far the biggest. He has the same reality distortion field Jobs had, but it affects only him.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @07:09AM (#43514181)

    What could he possibly hope to gain except a very long jail sentence.

    That's funny. A finance guy receiving a long jail sentence. Have you been around the last 5 years?

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @07:12AM (#43514205)

    Its not about the power itself. The power is just a form of addiction, sadly.

  • Orderly succession (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrMickS ( 568778 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @07:38AM (#43514295) Homepage Journal

    There's nothing really to see here. He's been CFO for over three years, been at the company for much longer. Why not cash in on his various options and enjoy his life?

    The doom and gloom about Microsoft on here is all wishful thinking. PC Windows is on a decline in the marketplace and has been since the the iPhone/iPad changed the game. Android has accelerated this by making smart touch devices available at a lower price point. Microsoft are aware of this, the speed of change has caught them out and they are going to stumble a little before they make the right move.

    In the long run Office will survive because its a standard, nothing else can claim this. Office 365 gives them the ability to make money from Office without owning the OS. This is the future of Microsoft. Google may have been doing this longer but Office is Office.

    Cloud computing/storage is going to be a big money earner going forward. Microsoft have positioned themselves for this. Going forward they would rather provide Windows servers using Azure than sell the OS. As unit sales of Windows server decline, look to Microsoft aggressively market and price Azure as an alternative. Especially in the SME space. Why run your own servers when you can get a reliable DR capable cloud solution from Microsoft. This is where the market is heading.

    Xbox Live. The next Xbox is going to be a money earner. They are currently making money with the current service. The new one should come in at a reasonable price and allow them to continue this. It will also leverage cloud based services.

    Consumer Windows is the bad news. This will move to become a phone/tablet OS which is where the consumer market is going. The chances are that they will come good, they have a lot of smart people working there.

    Oh, and before the accusations start I'm not a Microsoft shill. I've never bought a computer that runs Windows. I just like to look at things a little more realistically. I still expect to get modded down because that's what happens on Slashdot.

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @07:41AM (#43514305)

    Can the people who killed the start menu / Metro apps in an window.

    The UI was to big of a jump and to not have some kind of choice is real bad.

    Also get rid of the app store only for metro apps.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @08:00AM (#43514381)
    that is usually when CFO's resign. IT is not like he is walking out the door now, he stays on till the end of the 4th quarter. now if he had left BEFORE the numbers then that is something that would be incredibly fishy as it would scream there was something in their he wasn't willing to put his name against.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @08:06AM (#43514391) Homepage

    Unhealthy... where to begin?!

    Sure, it's a nice arrangement when the success of the PC industry is the success of Microsoft. But how healthy is it when the failure of Microsoft is the death of the PC industry??? The influence that a software maker has over the hardware industries is VERY unhealthy.

  • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @08:48AM (#43514613)

    No dick. The start button removal was a collective decision to use the only strategy MS knows: use the desktop monopoly to force their way into a mobile monopoly. If they could get punters to actually like Metro, then they'd like to see it on their mobiles as well...errr....or something....

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

    by nojayuk ( 567177 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @08:59AM (#43514669)

    Steve Ballmer has been in a senior position at MicroSoft for about thirty years now, unlike the typical bungee boss CEOs and board members of various other high-tech corporations such as HP (remember Carly?). During the time he's been working there MS total turnover has been about half a trillion bucks. I'd say US high-tech businesses could use some more chair-throwers like Ballmer and fewer wily super-geniuses like Fiorina.

  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @09:00AM (#43514675)

    And his CFO leaving is just another CFO leaving in a chain of them going back decades. But it's an opportunity for people to heap on Microsoft, rail at Ballmer, do the death-watch thing, and so forth.

    Ever exec that leaves Microsoft will twig the same response. Ignore lots of stuff, and hope for the big Redmond ideological crater. People are so predictable. Slashdot must have gotten several pageview spikes out of their past week posts about Microsoft. They learn from ZDNet.

    If you're a CFO and you DON'T push financials to make your stock look good to the Wall Street overlords, you're not doing your job. Decided to take your cash and enjoy life? Then you'd be like thousands of Microsoft employees that became millionaires or more.

    I'm not rationalizing the boorish and illegal things Microsoft has done. Rather, citing that this really isn't much news, but it's a boring period in the tech industry.

  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @09:12AM (#43514755)

    In the long run Office will survive because its a standard, nothing else can claim this.

    Once upon a time, Lotus 1-2-3 was the standard spreadsheet and nothing else could claim that. Once upon a time, Wordperfect was the standard word processor and nothing else could claim that. Microsoft Office displaced them because Microsoft controlled the OS that everyone (for all practical purposes) ran them on and Microsoft was able to adapt to new versions of the OS faster because their programmers knew what was going to be in it before anyone else (and because MS programmers wrote the new OS to break something that their competitors used).

  • by AdmV0rl0n ( 98366 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @09:14AM (#43514761) Homepage Journal

    So, XP level security and no UAC and no sandboxing in IE and other windows level engineering changes were not needed.

    How about I just say you seem to have no idea about what you are talking about. And you _deserve_the modding down.

  • Re:Micro$oft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by devent ( 1627873 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @09:20AM (#43514801) Homepage

    I can agree to that. I don't really care if Microsoft can create record profits. I do care that I can install Linux now on almost every hardware and it will work. I do care about LibreOffice and open standards so that I can exchange documents freely. I do care about an open web.

    With this for me important aspects of the software industry increasing year after year I couldn't be happier. 15 years ego it was all looking very dim for open source software and free standards. 15 years ego if you didn't used Windows you couldn't do any work and the IE and Microsoft Word and Excel was the "standard".

    So yes, high fives everyone.

  • Re:Come on CEO... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @09:39AM (#43514901)

    Your argument makes no sense. Saying that the Ballmer is no worse than Fiorini is no reason to keep Ballmer - there are far better alternatives around.

    A tech company (eventually, if they actually have a chance) lives and dies by its engineers. Do any of you know a great engineer that WANTS to work for Ballmer, that is inspired by him and his insight? Now... ask the same question about Larry Page, or Steve Jobs, Hell, for big old companies, even include John Chambers or Larry Ellison. Where are the great engineers, who can go anywhere they want to, going to go? Not to Microsoft, and they have not wanted to go to Microsoft for at least 10 years.

    Now, ask the same thing about other professions - sales, CFO. The future is elsewhere at least partly BECAUSE of Ballmer. He is just not a credible leader.

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

    by nojayuk ( 567177 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @09:50AM (#43514967)

    "Saying that the Ballmer is no worse than Fiorini is no reason to keep Ballmer - there are far better alternatives around."

    Such as? Who's available, with the sort of deep knowledge of where MS came from, where it is today and where it is going tomorrow and who can step in and make MS even better than it is today with minimal disruption to the financial bottom line? Hmmm, tricky...

    Some day MS is going to have to cope without Steve B., hopefully not in the same way that Apple is handling the loss of Steve Jobs but that day isn't here yet. I find the idea that Ballmer is some kind of liability to MS quite amusing considering what would/will happen to the business if/when he does leave.

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

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @10:44AM (#43515421) Journal

    Interestingly Microsoft is starting to realize, too late, that it has been a "Windows(TM)" company, and not a technology company. The fact that they tried to tie everything to Windows(TM), is the problem. Replace Windows(TM) (with say .. Android or iOS) and all of a sudden, your whole core is gone and all the supporting products are worth less. And that is what is happening. People are realizing that you don't need Windows(TM) to get stuff done. And in fact, you don't need Windows(TM) most of the time.

    And since people are realizing this, they are exploring other options.The days of being able to sell Windows 95 for $150 and have people line up around the block have long since been over. The Windows ship has sailed.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @11:09AM (#43515593) Journal
    He wears a suit, collects big pay check every month and takes home a big bonus, and is seen in his office once in a while. As a CEO he has done all that is expected of him. It is upto rest of the company to make progress and earn enough money to continue to pay him his exalted benefits. What more can he do? The raison d`etre for private companies is to earn money to pay their top executives. What part of that private enterprise you guys dont get?

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!