Bill Gates Needs to Replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO: 10 Reasons Why

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Bill Gates Needs to Replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO: 10 Reasons Why

by Don Reisinger

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He's An Innovator

Some folks might take issue with Bill Gates and what he has done to become one of the worlds richest people, but hes undoubtedly an innovator. He was instrumental in developing some of the most widely used applications in the world. And he built a business out of Microsoft that some thought impossible. Steve Ballmer, on the other hand, is an executive that doesnt innovate as much as he should. And he needs to be replaced.

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Ballmer Isn't Cutting It

As mentioned, Steve Ballmer just isnt doing what he should to be successful in todays changing landscape. He has allowed the companys mobile division to flounder and thought Microsoft should stick with Vista much longer than it should have. Meanwhile, the companys stock price has been relatively unchanged over the years-hovering between $20 and $30 over the past five years. Thats not the mark of a solid CEO. He needs to be replaced with someone, like Gates, who built the company from scratch into the biggest software company in the world.

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Gates Would Be Willing to Look Beyond Windows

It seems that Microsofts market strategy still revolves around Windows. Admittedly, it makes sense, since its still the top operating system in the world. But its also a product thats coasting because no other operating system is even close to matching it. Be that as it may, Ballmer is in a position to look beyond Windows (and Office) and do really innovative things. Hes not. But Gates would. His history has proven that he will look beyond Windows to grow Microsofts business. He just might be the savior the company needs.

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It Would Reinvigorate Investors

As mentioned, Microsofts stock price is floundering, and not even the best quarter in its history can change that. Investors are seeking something (anything) that would make them get excited about owning Microsoft stock again. What better way to reinvigorate those folks than to bring Gates back and watch him promise bigger and better things from the company?

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He Can Redefine Microsoft's Enterprise Focus

One of the key aspects of Bill Gates legacy as Microsofts leader was his realization that the corporate world was integral to the future growth of his operation. He made Windows more corporate-friendly, and in the process, its market share grew. Over the years, Ballmer has maintained the same vision for the enterprise. But as more iPads, Android devices, and even Mac OS X installations make their way into the corporate world, its clear that Microsoft needs a new enterprise strategy. And Bill Gates, someone who first devised the companys corporate strategy, could have the best solution.

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His Reputation Is More Secure

Steve Ballmer isnt widely considered one of the top CEOs in the world. He has watched his company continue to generate billions and along the way, he has looked like a bully of smaller organizations. Bill Gates didnt have the greatest reputation when he finally left Microsoft either, but over the past few years, he has revitalized his brand by showing a softer, philanthropic side. Nowadays, Gates isnt as hated as he once was. And he arguably has a better reputation than Ballmer. That should help Microsofts brand recognition.

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He Has Vanquished Companies In the Past

Microsoft finds itself in a battle for the future. Google and Apple are encroaching upon its territory in several different markets, and at least so far, Ballmer hasnt found a solution to push them back. Bill Gates, on the other hand, has a long history of beating entrenched competitors to the punch. Just look at Netscape for proof of that. If anyone can return Microsoft to the top of the tech space, its Bill Gates.

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Who Else Understands Microsoft?

One of the biggest issues with replacing Steve Ballmer with someone else is that Microsoft is a huge company with several different divisions requiring much different expertise. Ballmer has proven that he can, to some extent, manage all those many divisions. But who knows who else could? If anything is certain, Bill Gates can. He understands the company he founded and he knows how to manage its many divisions. That would be a key component in the changeover at the top.

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He Can Make Windows More Consumer-Friendly

Bill Gates proved over the years that even though he saw the value of the enterprise with Windows, he also needed consumers to come along to make his operating system as popular as it became. However, in recent years, Windows hasnt been as consumer-friendly as Apples Mac OS X, which is designed specifically with consumers in mind. Thats a problem, especially as Apple continues to impress consumers around the world. But Ballmer doesnt see it that way. Hes content to offer incremental updates to Windows. Gates wouldnt. As Windows 95 and Windows 98 showed, Gates is willing to take chances and be aggressive. Those are qualities that Ballmer doesnt possess.

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Nothing Has Changed

When Steve Ballmer took over as CEO of Microsoft a decade ago, he had a company that was defined most by Windows, Office, and Internet Explorer. As the company moves into the next decade, nothing has changed: Microsoft is still defined by those three platforms. That has helped the company remain financially solvent, but it has also allowed Google and Apple to take advantage. Status quo is playing against Ballmer. But the lack of change it should make it easy for Gates to takes up the reins again. Since so little has changed it should be all the more easy for the board to appoint Gates as its new CEO.

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