Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mr. Ballmer on the Defense - Links

Quick collection of various links discussing Mr. Ballmer's presentation today (Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Strategic Decisions Conference):



Note a whole lot of commentary for me - well, other than observing that I'd sum it up as Mr. Ballmer's telling us to hold on-tight to the handbasket we're sitting in, it's going to get a whole lot hotter - but one issue that I love that's being asked still gets a whole lotta buzzword-bingo-nothing when it comes to a sustentative answer (from the transcript):

CHARLES DI BONA: A couple of questions on the organization of the company. How are you looking at the organizational structure going forward, in particular a number of questions about how do you sort of avoid the big company problem of becoming sort of too diffuse, too defocused, and bureaucratic, both from a motivational point of view, but also from a results point of view?

STEVE BALLMER: That's a good question, and probably one that I spend more of my time on than anything. I made a comment about nurturing multiple forms of innovation, and that actually, in a sense, ties to this exactly. How do we give people enough autonomy, but get enough synergy? How do you make sure we have high enough quality people to actually run with and move and drive the businesses that we're getting in?

I mean, I tell the guys literally, you've got to think about guys like Kevin Johnson, Robbie Bach, Jeff Raikes as CEOs. They've got to be able to be as good as the CEO of any one of their competitors. We're entering the unified communications business this year with Live Communications Server, with VOIP capabilities, the acquisition we did of a little Swiss company last summer, Media-streams. We've got to have people who are absolutely top-notch, first rate. We've got to be willing to incent those people, reward those people, motivate those people. And there are issues, you've got to work, and I'm probably part of the problem sometimes, part of the solution sometimes, but it's something that as long as you keep it on your radar screen, and think about it a lot, I think you can make progress.

One thing, we are evolving. Twelve months ago, we would have talked to you about integrated innovation. Today, I think what we've talked to you about is innovate and integrate. That is, I think for example in our first Longhorn Vista conceptualization, we had too much technology, too new, trying to be integrated at one time. So, we're trying to get a little bit better balance in innovation, then integration, as opposed to integrating so much new stuff at one time, and that helps a lot with agility.

Finally: I know, lots of folks are going to scream for Ballmer's resignation and replacement. But even I don't see that happening anytime soon (unless the stock falls into the lower teens). How well does it all work going forward as is?

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