Re: The right person for the job
Sometimes a bullet between the eyes is the only way to refresh a corporation's existing management structure. A new light must be cast into the shadows because a divided corporation whose management has a lot of history will continue old practices rather than unite. The delicate balance a new top leader faces is remolding those willing to think differently and replacing those who don't. Although accepted at failing corporations, it's extremely dangerous at successful corporations. New leadership will have to pick fights with quality, talented resources who for years have believed in all that they do. Regardless of whether or not tech pundits believe they have lost their way, for the moment Microsoft is extremely successful and internally, those resistant to change have proof of their success. In that environment, new leadership will be viewed as change for the sake of change. For some, perhaps many, that's like messing with the 10 commandments. They'll leave and if enough choose this path, it may cause their existing and highly successful products to languish.
Microsoft languished for years but for the first time in a long time they seem to have a sense of urgency and are bringing out new products and ideas. Unprofitable product lines must certainly be criticized but what is Microsoft if it drops the XBox, Bing and its new devices strategy? I don't think Microsoft has the luxury of time to become another IBM. IBM had the ability to transform itself into a services company while relying on existing product revenue streams. The pace of disruptive tech is only increasing and given the strength of multiple competitors, all of Microsoft's current products are vulnerable. If it isn't able to create new revenue-positive products, I don't think they'll die a slow death. The first time revenue shrinks (not just missing predicated growth but an actual QOQ or YOY shrink), there will be blood in the water. Customers and partners will be forced to pontificate how much they depend on Microsoft and for the first time, assess that as a potential risk rather than simply looking at how much it costs. If that happens in numbers, it will snowball out of control.