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6/25/2014
08:07 AM
David Wagner
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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David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
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. 
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.
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.
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. 
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
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?
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
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
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: Ninja
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.
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Ninja
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 !
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.

 
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