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6/25/2014
08:07 AM
David Wagner
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After Ballmer: 8 Execs You Love To Hate

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer created the kind of love-hate relationship that tech users can't resist. These tech bigwigs can bring it like Ballmer.
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Steve Ballmer was like the star of his own reality show -- tears, laughs, crazy stunts, and business deals that brought weekly drama. Whether he was pretending to stomp on an employee's iPhone to make a point or crying on stage, Ballmer attracted attention and headlines, as well as his fair share of haters.

It was never going to be easy for anyone to follow Bill Gates, and despite his significant business success, Ballmer has always been shrouded in controversy. Ballmer was too interesting to simply hate. He created the kind of love-hate relationship that is sort of fun to have, much like how you hate a rival sports team.

With Ballmer retired, I decided to think about some of the current technology leaders who could fill his shoes as the guy (or gal) you love to hate. I didn't want to just make a list of people nobody likes -- that's too easy. It's hard to imagine that former Paypal CEO and Facebook investor Peter Thiel, for example, had many fans after he announced he didn't support a woman's right to vote. But there's nothing fun about that.

What I looked for are complicated figures -- people who are probably a real hoot at dinner but who, because of business reasons, interesting character flaws, honest disagreements, or an amusing inability to keep their mouths shut, offer us endless entertainment. Dig into our slideshow for a list of executives I think can bring it like Ballmer.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

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Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 9:48:52 AM
Zuckerberg
I don't hate Zuckerberg, but I don't like his influence on privacy. He once said that personal privacy was dead. When someone with as much influence as him believes that, it gets a bit scary, especially when there's already enough government surveillance going on to fill up zetabytes of storage. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/25/2014 | 10:14:06 AM
Re: Zuckerberg
Must say, I took some passive-aggressive enjoyment when Zuck's personal pix (of him in a family member's kitchen, if I remember correctly) hit the news a year or two ago. Not that I think it was right of someone to share his personal photos without his permission; I don't. But because this type of activity happens over and over to individuals who don't have public recognition, but who are equally embarassed when their personal information or pix are displayed or shared without permission by someone else. Of course, Zuckerberg's not responsible for human nature. But complex, ever-changing ToS; complicated processes to disconnect from FB, and rules that favor advertisers not users don't make it easier.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
6/25/2014 | 10:52:49 AM
Re: Zuckerberg
Zuckerberg is the one who jumps out here. While you have to admire his ability to create Facebook and thrive as a businessman, he does not inspire much trust. People loved to hate Ballmer because he was sort of a buffoon, at least in some regrettable public appearances (I don't think he was really a buffoon), and he was just too much of a salesman. Zuckerberg doesn't have the same hang ups as Ballmer, but he does appear sneaky and disingenuous, and clearly has little respect for personal privacy. The fact that's he's so wealthy and successful at such a young age doesn't help. Though people shouldn't begrudge him that -- he earned it.
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/25/2014 | 11:03:53 AM
Re: Zuckerberg
I agree...I think the disregard for personal privacy is why most people dislike Zuckerberg. He doesn't seem to do much to defend privacy and his company always seems to be backtracking on privacy policy issues. In other words, whenever a new privacy policy is issued, the MO is to get as much info as possible until users revolt and then roll back some of the new policy until users calm down. You would think that after so many user revolts over Facebook's privacy policy, the company would figure out how to get it right.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 1:42:13 PM
Re: Zuckerberg
You would think that after so many user revolts over Facebook's privacy policy, the company would figure out how to get it right.
 

My experience is that the revolts over security and privacy have mostly ended in the last two years or so. I think they HAVE learned. And between FB and Instagram they are still growing users so I think for th emsot part users have stopped.

That said, I'm starting to sound like an FB fan boy so I'll stop. :)
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 1:33:08 PM
Re: Zuckerberg
@shane- I don't know if lack of respect is the right phrase. I joined Facebook the day they let grownups join it. And I never had any illusions that what I put up there was being handed over to a company and that I could not trust that that company wouldn't have a breach or that my information might be made more public than intended. So I acted accordingly. 

I don't think Zuckerberg or Facebook should be blamed that some adults use poor judgment by what they are willign to put on social media. To my recollection, Facebook has never had a major security breach where they handed over a bunch of tintimate informaiton to anyone. They seem to take data security seriously. They've kepy my data for years and only shown it accoridng to their (admittedly chaning constantly) policies. 

I feel like he has shown great respect to what I put there. He just created a product that requires the user to take some respect in themself as well.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 1:25:12 PM
Re: Zuckerberg
@Alison- I like Zuck and Facebook, but even I was amused. Some of Zuckerberg's family were really annoyed by my recollection is that Mark himself didn't bat an eyelash because it fit his philosophy. But i do suspect that that meant more for changing Facebook privacy settings than a million petitions.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 1:17:24 PM
Re: Zuckerberg
@whoopty- I actually agree with Zuck on privacy. I'm generally of the mind that less privacy would lead to more human understanding. We'd have more of a sense of exactly how "normal" we were if we stopped hiding our lives behind the curtain. If it were up to me, we'd open most provate records except those that have to do directly with security (SSNs, bank records, etc). But i'd open my medical records, family pics, even more intimate stuff if th rest of the world agreed that is the way it should work.

I think Zuck, me, and a bunch of other people are just feeling like a lot of this is no big deal and we'll be better off in the end. Apparently 1 billion people agree with him.
Number 6
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Number 6,
User Rank: Moderator
6/25/2014 | 10:22:45 AM
Mayer & Telecommuting
I second the Marissa Mayer selection because of all the other tech firms' CEO's and HR departments that decided to jump on the "no telecommuting" bandwagon. This only a few years after many actively encouraged home offices to reduce their office leasing costs. And how's that been working out for Yahoo anyway? Did the results justify the further blow to employee morale?
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 1:09:26 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@Number6: I'm ambivalent on Mayer. On the one hand, I get why she's reviled by many working parents. I'm not a fan of reality TV in general, but I would very much like to see Marissa Mayer appear on an episode of "Wife Swap" in which she gets to live with a family that is struggling to make ends meet. I wonder if she'll think it's so easy to be a working parent then. 

Anyone who can afford to build a nursery in their office and pay a staff of people to help with childcare and household chores should avoid making any public proclamations about what it's like to be a working parent. 

On the otherhand...many of us are so acculturated to men in senior positions having wives (and staff) to handle all household and childcare needs that we don't even question it. So--if all circumstances at Yahoo were exactly the same, except for the fact that the CEO was male, would we feel as strongly negative about the no telecommuting policy?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 2:01:17 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@Susan- I have to admit, in doing this article I developed a little CEO crush on Mayer. She joined Elon Musk, John Lasseter, and fellow Marylander Kevin Plank, as the executives I'd most like to have a meal with. 

She is charismatic and energetic and seems to have a vision. 

Lack of empathy for your workers though is poor leadership. It wasn't so much her decisions as the timing of the two events. I know one is personal and one is business, but if she did a better job of seeing how one affected the other, it would have been more helpful and better leadership.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 2:31:00 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@Dave: There's a lot to admire about all of those CEOs, and I realize it's impossible to be in that kind of leadership position without making decisions that are going to leave some people really really unhappy. I happen to disagree in principal with the way she approached the work-life balance issues at Yahoo. 

I had a management training program this week that presented what the trainer called the "platinum rule," next step up from the "golden rule."

So, the golden rule as we know is "do undo others as you would have others do unto you."

the platinum rule is to "treat others as they would LIKE to be treated."

I think that Mayer's policies violate that rule.

 
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2014 | 4:48:29 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
Says me, your "Platinum Rule" is the Golden Rule properly interpreted and is implicit in much of Old Testament teaching ("this is the law and the prophets").


With that, i think you're right, as Mrs. Mayer, as a working mother herself, should have been fully aware of the impact the no-telecommuting polcy was bound to have on many of her telecommuting employees, and should have taken steps to address it; which she apparently didn't do.

 
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
6/25/2014 | 2:50:39 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
I think Mayer gets a bad rap. Her job is to turn around Yahoo, not to make the cover of Parenting magazine. If she thinks the culture (and thus the financial performance) isn't what it should be at Yahoo because too many people are working fom home, she shouldn't be skewered for requiring people to come into the office. I work from home at times (though not often) and appreciate having that flexibility, but I wouldn't protest if my employer required me to come into the office every day as part of a new strategic direction. Every company is different. I suspect at some point Mayer will relax her policy. 
Henrisha
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Henrisha,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:11:28 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
True. Sometimes, I think people forget who's the boss and forget that there's a reason why they're in charge. Some just love to complain and find complaints about their higher-ups without thinking about the surrounding circumstances.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:18:35 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@Rob- No doubt that's her first duty. But leaders need to know their people and the culture they lead in. And i think she misread the situation in a way that temporarily hurt the company's morale. She could have done exactly what she did in other ways. Lesson learned. But I agree with you to the extent that a leader doesn't have to be liked (though I like her). they have to be respected and make the right decision. And form where i stand, if anyone can turn them around, it is her.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:38:01 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@Rob: While I disagree with Mayer's telecommuting policy, that's not what I take issue with.

She's been very public about her experiences as a parent and CEO, and her statements on these topics have mostly shown her to be completely tone deaf to the realities of being a working parent without the perks that come with a huge salary.

As far as I know, she also has not provided any forward-thinking policies for the rank-and-file at Yahoo that show she really has a grasp of what it's like to be a working parent. Sure, she has increased paid maternity leave to 16 weeks for women and 8 weeks for men.

If she really wanted to be groundbreaking, she would adopt some of the parental leave pollicies of European businesses, some of which provide up to a year of paid leave for both parents. She had the opportunity to be a true champion of working parents here when it comes to creating a family-friendly workplace, and IMHO she has failed to do so.

On the flipside, of course, there's an unfair expectation of women CEOs to talk publicly about parenting and family in a way we'd never expect from male CEOs. When was the last time anyone asked a male CEO how they balance work life and family life?

Sincerely,

Conflicted
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 3:49:18 PM
Where is Larry Ellison?
He should have been first on the list.

 
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 2:32:14 PM
Re: Where is Larry Ellison?
@jries921: He sailed off in his yacht before we could snap a pic of him...

:)
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 7:31:00 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@Susan- Just hours after I submitted this story, Mayer got in trouble for sleeping through a meeting with major advertisers. She was attacked for not taking the advertisers seriously and not seeing the gravity of the meeting.

I honestly have no idea how Larry Page or Jack Welch or Steve Jobs or insert your idea of the alpha male CEO here, would have been treated if the same thing happened, but what i found really odd was the sense that this was somehow on purpose because she didn't "get" how important it was.

She was jetlegged and had been up for quite some time and fell asleep and didn't wake up in time for dinner. That seemed entirely like a human mistake. A dumb human mistake. One that should have consequences. But I felt like the response was patronizing. No one needs to tell her or any CEO how awful that was.

Maybe i'm wrong. Maybe any CEO would have been treated that way. But I'm thinking it just would been a sign of Steve Jobs being a "maverick."
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/26/2014 | 7:40:32 AM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
Well, I came here to say that in recent history Marissa Mayer is clearly one of the worst we've seen.  There really seems to be a disconnect between what she does and what she expects other people to do and this incident is more of the same.  To be fair though these are the executives who are really putting themselves out there and everything they do is under the microscope so it's natural that we see their flaws as much bigger issues than they might really be.  Right now I admire Elon Musk and the way he's leading Tesla but from what I hear he's somewhat difficult to work for, everyone has issues.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Strategist
6/26/2014 | 10:44:52 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
The worst story on that list is the FourSquare a$$. The pic really expresses their disdain for the wee people. Forget him and his wife. Does anyone even use FourSquare anymore? Most annoying social medium ever.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/27/2014 | 7:01:20 AM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@Broadway0474 that's a good point on Foursquare.  Do we feel bad at all for a company that falters when their leadership is that bad?  Of course we have to consider the people who work there but then I tend to think they are better of being somewhere else.
Hospice_Houngbo
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Hospice_Houngbo,
User Rank: Strategist
6/27/2014 | 10:28:14 AM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@Broadway0474--"Does anyone still use Foursquare ?" Foursquare has dropped in popularity and seems to be declining. Users no longer feel the excitement of being the "king" of a place when there is no true benefit to it.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2014 | 12:38:40 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
David,

Steve Jobs would just have skipped the Whole Meeting entirely and Be Done with it.

He's always been a My way or the Highway kind of guy!!!

Regards

Ashish.

 
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 2:41:18 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@Dave: 100% right on. I was so infuriated reading the coverage of that. I have a hard time believing that any male CEO would have been criticized in the same fashion. In fact, I've heard tales of some CEOs making guests wait ridiculous amounts of time as a sort of alpha-male power play. While it's ultimately her fault, I do have to ask: Where were her trusted team members to make sure that didn't happen?

Don't most CEOs at her level have a possee of support staff to make sure they get where they need to be on time? Where was Mayer's support staff? 

I'm not anywhere near her level, but I know I have team members I can trust who would have had the hotel staff banging down my door to make sure I got to that meeting in time. Seems like Mayer was hung out to dry on this one. 

 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
6/27/2014 | 7:59:00 AM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
SusanN, 

I completely agree with every statement you have made in your comment on Marissa Mayer's telecommuniting and parenting policy.

She missed two great opportunities of becoming a CEO of change. Her working parent reality is far from the reality of most working parents, for which her comments on this matter have no relevance, in my opinion. 

I also find it weird that she is always asked about how she balances familiy life and work life when, as you well mentioned, no male CEO has ever been asked the same thing, at least not to my knowledge. 

-Susan 
Hospice_Houngbo
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Hospice_Houngbo,
User Rank: Strategist
6/27/2014 | 9:26:40 AM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@SF: You are right, men also do face many challenges trying to balance work and family life. Working women may think that they deserve an extra credit as most of the household chores are their responsibility. But that is not always the case as most male spouses tend to a great part of the house chores as well.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 8:41:38 AM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
HH, 

Yes. Maybe it also depends on the country. Around here both women and men get the same leave, one or two years, they get their salary and can come back to their job afterwards. They also share more household chores and they both take care of the baby. It would be too much for only one parent. 

So, I think the fathers who take care of their child and then also go to the office should have the same space for talking about their life-work balance. It's not just a female CEO thing. And by no means it's just a Marissa Mayer's thing. She seems to me quite fake, by the way. Never on my list of favorite people. 

-Susan

 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2014 | 12:29:15 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
Susan,

Please could you elaborate what is it about Marissa Mayer that you find quite "Fake"?

The way I look at is like this-Most Public Companies in the US have CEOs who are more like Generals+cheerleaders who have to not just Lead Employees onward but also Manage Stock market expectations under Intense Media Hype.

[Most of those Newspaper Articles where she claims is super-easy to Juggle a Kid and a CEO position just attempt to Build on that very same Aura/Hype].

Marissa Mayer has managed the Job Admirably well(compared to her Predeccesors here);so she's definitely a success on that count.

But would still like to hear what you find really negative about her.

Regards

Ashish.

 
Hospice_Houngbo
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Hospice_Houngbo,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 9:12:45 AM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@SF,

"Maybe it also depends on the country. Around here both women and men get the same leave"

I get your point. Equal parental leave for fathers and mothers is a perspective that is not shared by many countries especially where the male position in the labour market is more valued than the female position. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/27/2014 | 2:30:21 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
I also find it weird that she is always asked about how she balances familiy life and work life when, as you well mentioned, no male CEO has ever been asked the same thing, at least not to my knowledge. 


@both Susans- OK, let's change that. I mostly interview CIOs, but I do interview the occaisonal CEO. Among my more typical questions, I'll start throwing in the work-life balance question. Maybe I can do an article on it. Find some male CEOs who take the balance seriously for themselves and for their employees.

I think that is an excellent idea, and one that will appeal to modern dads and moms everywhere.
tekedge
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tekedge,
User Rank: Moderator
6/27/2014 | 4:44:21 PM
work life balance
@david let us know what male CEO answer about work life balance . should make subject for interesting conversation!
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
6/27/2014 | 6:26:34 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
Yes, I am by no means a Jezebel feminist, but I do note the hypocrisy of the idea of "woman who has it all" while we never make any such observations about men.

Want to talk about Marissa Mayer's spot on this list?  You can just stick to the facts that she got rid of telecommuting, fires and replaces people mercilessly without trying to tap existing potential, continues her predecessors' strategies of buying other companies just to kill them or let them languish, makes a poor impression on clients, and oversleeps for meetings.  (Although I did feel a bit bad for her on that last bit of news.)

Makes you wonder -- was Scott Thompson's resume embellishment really so bad?
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Moderator
6/27/2014 | 10:48:26 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@Joe Re: "but I do note the hypocrisy of the idea of "woman who has it all" while we never make any such observations about men." True. I tried to think of a common comment that might equate to the quote you mentioned about women. "That guy is Mr. Right" is the closest version directed towards men that I could think of.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 8:39:45 AM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
Interesting.  I'd never heard that "Mr. Right" term before -- except in terms of discussing somebody's suitability for dating.

Of course, women seem to be the worst perpetrators unto themselves.  All those articles on women's work-life balance, "having it all," the difficulties women face being a CEO and a mother?  They're all written by women.  No one's talking about dad in the office...even though I think we're well past the Mad Men days of it being the norm for male executives to have three-martini lunches, hit the bars every night, and come home too late to have dinner or see the kids -- while mom stays at home and does all the chores and child-rearing.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 9:03:19 AM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
Dave, 

"Find some male CEOs who take the balance seriously for themselves and for their employees."

Yes, that's a good idea. Parenting is a male thing as well.

-Susan
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2014 | 12:10:49 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
Susan,

Parenting most definitely needs both Parents involved together to create great kids.

As the Kid Grows up,he/she definitely both parents so that they grow up into Balanced Individuals.

Don't forget to send me that Parenting Book you promised me.

LOL!!!!

Regards

Ashish.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 2:09:32 AM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
Ashish,

Exactly. And this is how once again we found ourselves continuing the topics of discussion that we started elsewhere.

I will not forget about sending you that book. :D

-Susan 
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Strategist
6/29/2014 | 10:51:23 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@David, you should start asking that question of more male execs, for sure. There are plenty of people who are pushing for greater work-life balance in the corporate world who are pushing for it for both men and women. It is sad that more often than not only female execs get asked those questions, but it's equally sad that most male execs are simply expected to grin and bear the brutal work schedules.
Hospice_Houngbo
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Hospice_Houngbo,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 9:31:02 AM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@Broadway0474:

"but it's equally sad that most male execs are simply expected to grin and bear the brutal work schedules."

Do they really have a choice? It is the cost of competitive leadership and an apparent proof that the exec is ready to make costly sacrifices for the corporate interest.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 2:48:07 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@SusanF: bingo! There is still a double standard when it comes to male and female CEOs. I would love to see a CEO of any gender implement groundbreaking family friendly policies in the U.S., but sadly that has yet to happen. Typical corporate policies do not favor families or a true work-life balance -- especially for parents -- and most companies here offer only the minimum required of them by law, which is a pretty low bar.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
7/4/2014 | 1:26:21 AM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
SusanN, 

I would love to see a CEO of any gender implement groundbreaking family friendly policies in the U.S., but sadly that has yet to happen."

I have an idea. :D 
What if when interviewing a CEO of any gender one of unexpected question is about that. For example: Do you plan to implement groundbreaking family friendly policies in your [name of the company], or you have done it already? 
 
If several CEO are asked this, maybe one thinks of the possibility of becoming a champion CEO and implements something good. Too crazy of an idea? 
 
-SusanF
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 1:29:04 PM
Re: Mayer & Telecommuting
@Number6- I guess it depends on who you ask. Mayer puts a public face on it by saying that it is making a difference. They are still having trouble staying profitable based on recent quarterly statements, but claim that by Q4 this will change. 

Considering the move was made for the sake of innovation and many innovations don't lead to growth for several years the jury is probably still out. That said, the timing made it really awful unless she planned on letting every employee turn the cube next to theirs into a nursery.
Emery
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Emery,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/25/2014 | 11:42:31 AM
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison
Is he on the no love list? He is on my never trust list.
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 11:56:36 AM
Re: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison
Oh geez, I second that! With licensing fees and schemes and lockins worthy of a Sith Lord, Ellison is a definite contender for this list.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 12:40:40 PM
Re: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison
He should have taken first place. It's so irritating this guy, who started by producing cheap knockoffs of IBM relational databases for mainframes, got to where he is now by basically buying other successful companies. Especially in the ERP space, as mentioned in other comment he has raised maint fee trolling to an art form. And this from customers of people like JD Edwards, who had no intention of ever being Oracle customers.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 1:45:41 PM
Re: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison
@Emery- Ha! Yes, I purposely left Ellison off the list in order to let people join in the fun. There are a couple of other names I'm expecting to hear, but i won't give them away. 
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 1:06:33 PM
Re: 8 Execs You Love To Hate
Love this list, Dave. Good to see you haven't lost your penchant for picking great pictures. Is it bad that I knew the article was yours as soon as I saw that (legendary) picture of Ballmer on the front page? I suppose not - I found it listed at the top of 'top stories', after all! People love this stuff, and you can certainly count me among them. You know a character when you see one, and even though I never had my ear pressed to the floor that hard beforehand, I knew as soon as Ballmer was announced as the next CEO that we were in for a good time.

On a less pessimistic note, I am curious to see what happens next for Microsoft. As you say, nobody will be able to fill Bill Gates' shoes, and it's very possible that anyone who sits in that chair will be hated no matter what. Then again, we've really only had one CEO since then, so it's hard to be so sure. It's fair to say that Ballmer was a special case - he had established history with the company, he had a one-in-a-million personality, and he was more of a business guy (presumably, future CEOs will be more tech people). Maybe his successor will be given a clean slate.. but we'll have to see what they do with it. Either way, I suspect we're in for a good time once again.


David Wagner
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David Wagner,
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6/25/2014 | 1:50:50 PM
Re: 8 Execs You Love To Hate
@zerox203- Thanks for the compliments. If I'm goign to use a picture, I want it to count. :)

The interesting thing to me is that Ballmer is often considered a failure because Windows lost its iron lock on certain industries (browsers among them). But he had the company making more money than it ever did despite the fact that they were late to the mobile party and the industry is changing. He was a lot of things, but not a failure.

the next CEO has even larger numbers to live up to than Ballmer did when he took over for Gates. I find it hard to believe the company can continue to grow at rates that will seem like success. I'm not sure if holding your own makes a CEO popular. 
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
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6/25/2014 | 3:01:08 PM
Marissa Mayer: Please Step on Up
@David   I really enjoyed this piece.   With Ballmer out of the picture for the most part ( Clipper Buy pending) there was a void at the top of the IT Exec hate list.   

While I agree Ballmer was love/hate.  I really didn't see his act too often since at that time I was anti- Microsoft ( I have since come around some...).  But the few times I did see him - he did rub me the wrong way.  I don't know- something about the guy, hopefully the Clipper experience will go better.  I doubt it.  But at least he is enthusiastic.

But my heart warms as I wondered when I would see the person I would vote #1.   She only made 3rd on your list - Ms. Marissa Mayer !   Seeing her lovely smiling face caused me to immediately grab my keyboard.  Now I am sure she is a very nice person, probably a great colleague and friend.   But she obviously is delusional.   

She actually thinks she can turn around Yahoo ?   She actually thinks Yahoo can become a viable entity on the Net ?   Wrong on all counts !   And as a former Googlite, she really should know better.  So why has she taken on this challenge ?   I don't even want to hear the noble considerations that most admire.  As far as I am concerned, taking the position at Yahoo, any position  at Yahoo is career suicide.

Ms Mayer welcome to the hot seat, I intend on disliking you well after you have unsuccessfully left Yahoo.
hho927
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hho927,
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6/25/2014 | 3:07:33 PM
Re: Marissa Mayer: Please Step on Up
She made the list because she called people came to work (not staying at home)

Other than that, she's cute. LOL and She have to take that job even she knows that she can't turn Yahoo around but it's a job that pays good plus that was a chance for her to be known.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
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6/25/2014 | 3:24:24 PM
Re: Marissa Mayer: Please Step on Up
@hho927- I don't think Mayer needed any help being known. As a VP with Google almost from its start, she could have easily been in line to take over ithere n the next few years. She is known for envisioning the layout of the Google search page and did quite important things with Google Maps, search, and images. She has engineering chops as well. 

if she took the job it was because she had a plan, not because she had to. We'll see if it works, but she got the job because she was already known.
hho927
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hho927,
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6/25/2014 | 4:19:45 PM
Re: Marissa Mayer: Please Step on Up
Maybe among the geeks and news writers.

I'm a computer programmer but I didn't know her until she took the job.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
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6/25/2014 | 3:28:49 PM
Re: Marissa Mayer: Please Step on Up
@hh0927: I think Reed Hastings is cuter, but you are onto a larger point here. It seems to me that whenever women are given the opportunity to become CEO of a tech company, it's always a company that is on the brink of failure: Yahoo, HP, Xerox...I'd like to see a female CEO be given the chance to run a company that is in the midst of a string of successes for a change.
hho927
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hho927,
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6/25/2014 | 4:17:29 PM
Re: Marissa Mayer: Please Step on Up
@Susan. I agree. Women bring fresh air to 'almost dead' companies. Desperate time calls for desperate moves LOL
Hospice_Houngbo
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Hospice_Houngbo,
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6/27/2014 | 8:53:35 AM
Re: Marissa Mayer: Please Step on Up
@hho927-- Not any kind of women, I will say. Skilled and talented women can impact a company's viability as would any skilled and talented men. :D
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
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7/2/2014 | 2:33:34 PM
Re: Marissa Mayer: Please Step on Up
@hho927: Ha! Yup, bring in the woman to clean up the mess the men have made. <grin>
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
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6/25/2014 | 3:15:36 PM
Re: Marissa Mayer: Please Step on Up
@technocrati- Maybe this makes me old and obsolete, but I think they can turn it around. I think Yahoo has some interesting inroads in local and viewer-specific news and entertainment. I think if they can hone that to a sharper edge they have a jump on something Google has struggled with. Local is where the next internet advantage is in my opinion.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
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6/25/2014 | 3:29:12 PM
Re: Marissa Mayer: Please Step on Up
@David   Interesting point,  And I had not considered the local market and Yahoo's positioning there. I personally don't used Yelp or the "local section" much, but I do find it useful when I remember to use it.

But I know there are many people who use these types of services constantly.   This market will certainly keep the lights on.  But will be enough to make them a major player ?   With a little creative accounting, I am sure it will look that way.  

I really don't see Yahoo going anywhere and it would be only wishful thinking to think they would be.

So we'll see, if this market makes them relevant again.  If Marissa does turn things around - I will be the first to sing her praises ( maybe even send her an email ) ,  but until then she ( as CEO ) represents all that is wrong with the Net  IMO.   

The only use I have for Yahoo is their fantasy sports otherwise I would never use it.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
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6/25/2014 | 3:37:25 PM
Re: Marissa Mayer: Please Step on Up
@technocrati- Fair enough. I think the local market is so underserved int he internet that it is a brilliant growth strategy if you can use technology to scale it. Right now, the internet is crowded at the top with a few sites dominating traffic for national stuff. But that's a crowded and expensive space. 

Local is the "bottom of the pyramid" in a good way. there are millions and millions of tiny little sites dedicated to little niches and small towns that get a tiny bit of traffice. But when you add up all that local traffic it is big bucks. If Yahoo can consolidate and replace a bunch of these tiny local services they will grow.

Of course, that requires a mobile strategy. And she claims they're working on that. I thinki that's the key. Because local is also mobile.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
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6/25/2014 | 3:49:00 PM
Re: Marissa Mayer: Please Step on Up
@David    I like the bet and thanks for explaining Yahoo's ultimate game plan.  And I agree Mobile will be the maker or breaker here.   

I actually wish Marissa luck - I like her. 

Just not Yahoo.
gev
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gev,
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6/27/2014 | 9:03:54 AM
Wait a second
Where is Larry Ellison?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
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6/27/2014 | 2:31:18 PM
Re: Wait a second
@gev- right now? I don't know. Probably in San Francisco. :)

I lef thim off the list so people could have some fun. Why do you hate him?
tekedge
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tekedge,
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6/27/2014 | 4:39:19 PM
Execs you love to hate
Marisa's Meyer really took the IT workforce by storm when she took away telecommuting from yahoo workforce. I think even now she gets a lot of flak for it! And oh the males joined the fuming female population and used her gender as the reason for the step she took.... So much for women,s liberation!
tekedge
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tekedge,
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6/27/2014 | 4:50:14 PM
Meyer and telecommuting
@susan I completely agree She needs to be more realistic. But I think being a CEO is not about pleasing employees but getting the company coffers filled, or increasing the visibility of the company in this technologically advanced world . It is a rat race
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
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6/28/2014 | 8:51:17 AM
Re: Meyer and telecommuting
takedge, 

It's not about "pleasing employees". It's about making things easier to employees and keeping them happy because at the end of the day you, as a CEO, need them to do what you need to do. It's about leadership and understanding what being a good leader means.  

-Susan
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
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6/29/2014 | 12:20:57 PM
Re: Meyer and telecommuting
Susan,

Very Wise Words.

I am so surprised(and intrigued) when I first see CEOs treating Employees poorly[no increments/No Bonuses to keep up with Inflation,Longer Working Hours,Firing them at the first sign of Trouble,etc] & then they constantly complain about Low Morale amongst staff[for which they again Spend a Crazy amount of Staff on Motivational Gurus and other such related Nonsense!!!].

Won't it make more sense if you just treat your employees well initially itself?

As Someone who runs my own Business;I always keep my Employees first and they know it.

Even if A Situation arises where my Revenue/Contracts Dry up;I tell them the truth and then let them go.

None of the Nonsense which occurs in most Fortune 500 firms today.

Regards

Ashish.

 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
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6/30/2014 | 2:14:59 AM
Re: Meyer and telecommuting
Ashish, 

Yes. It's as we discussed on David's article about leadership and pizza. Did you see that one? It takes more than giving orders to be a good leader. 

-Susan
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
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6/29/2014 | 12:35:06 PM
Re: Meyer and telecommuting
tekedge,

That's the smartest and simplest way of looking at this issue today.

Ultimately its the Moolah that matters more than anything else.

Bring home the Bacon and everything else takes care of itself.

 
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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6/27/2014 | 6:21:20 PM
Eh.
Crowley's dally with the marathon bib bothers me not one iota.  Seriously.  Not one.  It exposes what a stupid scam these races are anyway.

And even if it did bother me, the fact that he did it for the woman he loves would give it some redeeming qualities.

I would have replaced him on this list with someone like Jeff Bezos of Amazon or John Chambers from Cisco.

Oh!  Oh!  What about GM's Mary Barra?

And are we stuck in the private sector?  If we can include public sector, I think John Koskinen takes the cake for the #1 spot.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
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6/27/2014 | 6:45:14 PM
Re: Eh.
@Joe- It is funny. I didn't care one bit about the bib either until some running friends of mine started treating him like Satan. I still don't claim to fully understand it, but in that world, it is about the worst violation you can commit besides knocking someone down before the finish line. It really is akin to identity theft for them. 

Bezos is an interesting answer. Can't say that I thought of him. what is your problem with Bezos?
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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6/28/2014 | 8:33:02 AM
Re: Eh.
Yep.  Runners are crazy.  (But then what can you expect from people who make a habit of running over 26 miles in one go?)

I have no personal problem with Bezos, but others have written about him in less-than-flattering terms.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
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6/29/2014 | 12:08:38 PM
What no Larry Ellison on this List?
David,

The List you mentioned is incomplete with that Megalomaniac called Larry Ellison;who constantly thinks he's bigger than he really is.

If you really wanted someone to Hate he's the person.

 
impactnow
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impactnow,
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6/29/2014 | 2:05:48 PM
Re: What no Larry Ellison on this List?
It' a great list but we would be here all day if it was "complete" I could think of many others that would easily make the list. Arriving at a certain level of professional success doesn't always mean that the social skills are intact. That's why they have PR !
progman2000
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progman2000,
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6/30/2014 | 9:01:52 AM
Crowley
Wow.  As a marathoner busting his ass to qualify for the Boston Marathon, my jack$$$ award goes to Crowley.  I know there were scads of people stealing bibs this year, but the fact that these entitled jerks did it makes my blood boil.  In the end, I'm sure he could have gotten her a bib by simply forking over 5 or 10 grand to a charity, and you get some positive publicity to boot - wth?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
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6/30/2014 | 3:18:27 PM
Re: Crowley
@progman2000- Well, what's funny is I believe that she did get a bib but it wasn't the right bib. It didn't let her run with her husband. So not only did she fake a bib, but she kept someone else from having one that could have.

That said, one wonders if a little technology could be applied to this to do "bib exchanges" among the non-elite runners. 
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Moderator
6/30/2014 | 3:29:05 PM
Re: Crowley
@David, most marathons have a "no transfer, no refund" policy.  In a race like Boston with 40,000 runners, that is just a huge administrative headache on top of everything else.  If he actually ran a qualifying time to run the race, then that makes him an even bigger scumbag for letting her take someone elses bib.

Not that this fires me up or anything...
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
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6/30/2014 | 3:30:19 PM
Re: Crowley
@Progman2000- I get that the policy exists, but with a little app, if you could make it self-service, what would be the harm in changing the policy?
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 12:17:48 PM
Re:After Ballmer: 8 Execs You Love To Hate
Satya Nadella should not follow the footsteps of his elders because that would certainly lead Microsoft to devastation. I think what he is doing is nice, and slow, because he's not taking any chances. But his luck may just run out, and then he'd have to take chances. The greatest risk is not taking any risk at all.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
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6/30/2014 | 11:46:11 PM
Re:After Ballmer: 8 Execs You Love To Hate
I think "devastation" is a bit of an exagerration. They may not gain more market share but they're not going anywhere anytime soon. They're the benchmark for most enterprise operations end user-wise. It'll take decades before another vendors applications push Windows out.
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