It’s an amazing thing when the stars line up, the magnetic lines of force converge, and the cosmic consciousness gives the same thought to many.

Some time ago, I gave a few reasons (although I did not formalize a list) why Steve Ballmer needed to be retired. Then a few days ago Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols gave his five reasons why Mr. Ballmer had worn out his welcome with the public, and yesterday, Jim Lynch on ExtremeTech gave his ten reasons why Steve should get the boot. In fact, he is so enthusiastic about it, he gave a bonus reason on top of the first ten!

In perfect David Letterman style, the list starts with #10 and works its way to that bonus reason…

10. Microsoft’s Stock Price

Now I’m no stock picking guru nor would I ever give anybody advice on investing in this or that stock. But Microsoft’s stock performance over the last 5 years has been abysmal. Part of a chief executive’s job is to add value to his company’s stock and Ballmer clearly hasn’t gotten that part of the job done.

If you invested in Microsoft five years ago, chances are you would have been a lot happier investing in Google or Apple. Now why is that? If Microsoft is all about innovation then why hasn’t that been reflected in the stock price? Why has it languished for so long compared to Google or Apple? Shouldn’t Microsoft investors have been reaping the financial glory of Ballmer’s leadership?

Oops…never mind I guess they have been reaping the glory. Microsoft’s stock price is a direct reflection of Ballmer’s ineffective leadership.

For letting Microsoft’s stock price stagnate for years—Steve Ballmer should be fired.

and, for those of you that have been following what I have had to say on this, you know that if Carl Icahn forces a Microsoft-Yahoo deal, he will be on the ‘inside’, if only by proxy, at Microsoft, and he won’t like the way the stock is tanking – this may be the exact way that Mr. B gets retired.

9. Overheating Xboxes

Microsoft’s entry into the video game console business has cost it a lot of money. The company has had to go head-to-head with Sony and Nintendo, both of whom have better products (in different ways) than Microsoft’s lame Xbox 360. As if not having the innovative game play of the Wii or the coolness factor of the PS3’s Blu-ray drive isn’t bad enough, Microsoft has put out a bunch of nasty Xbox 360s that overheated and had to be returned and replaced.

I speak from personal experience because I bought one for my mom’s husband. He was going through chemotherapy at the time and he wanted a new system to replace his old PS2. While I personally favored the Nintendo Wii, I honored his wishes and got him an Xbox 360. Well within a few weeks the piece of junk had overheated and burned out on him. He called Microsoft and had to deal with a snotty support person that made him return it. It was weeks before he got another one.

Obviously a Nintendo Wii would have been a much better idea, in retrospect.

For letting his company release junky, overheating Xbox 360s and for snotty customer service representatives, Steve Ballmer should be fired

here I agree, but would add that had Microsoft had any intelligence on this, it would have backed any of the studios that supported HD DVD, so that it could continue, and the Xbox HD-DVD add-ons would not have been a total waste.

so as to not keep you in suspense, or make you wade through the rest of the reasons if you aren’t so inclined, let me say that your guess is right, reason #1 is Vista, the operating system that after 18 months still fails to impress.

For those who want to see the rest, the article is here, and remember as you read, Steve will not suffer if he gets canned. He will simply have more time to dance, to explore the better choices he could make in terms of anti-perspirant,  and he can start on the count of all his money – which, as he is very well compensated, should take quite some time.

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