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BLOG: Microsoft has derailed for lack of an engineer in chief

Preston Gralla | July 16, 2013
The tech companies that have surged since Steve Ballmer took over at Microsoft from Bill Gates are headed by engineers.

Not so for Steve Ballmer. Listen to him talk about products. He's robotic, his enthusiasm is artificial, and his message never strays from whatever marketing campaign has been designed for him. During the launch and early days of Windows Phone 7, he incessantly repeated that the new phone operating system would "delight" users. It was by far one of the most inauthentic, marketing-driven performances I have ever seen.

Jobs, Brin, Page and Zuckerberg never needed to gin up their enthusiasm for what they created. If Microsoft wants to get its mojo back, it should be looking for a leader who's similar to those four: an engineer who loves tech products, not someone who just sells them.


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