With recent news of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s earlier-than-expected retirement within the next year, we got to wondering what it’s been like working at the software mega-giant.
“Mr. Ballmer said that he was leaving earlier than planned because he believed the company needed an executive who would remain well beyond that transition,” according to the New York Times.
Ballmer has been leading the Microsoft as CEO for 13 years, but worked at Microsoft as the 30th employee since 1980.
A big change like this may be just what Microsoft needs to stay competitive. After all, critics say that it has struggled to keep up with mobile device technology and web search. For instance, in 2007, he said: “No chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share,” according to the NYMag.com. Of course, the iPhone remains a huge competitor in the smartphone today.
Of course, folks at Microsoft are surely going to miss being pumped up by Ballmer’s whacky, energetic personality. You have to watch this best-of Ballmer video montage!
Here’s what Microsoft employees have to say about what it's been really like to work at Microsoft under Ballmer’s leadership:
What do you LOVE about working at Microsoft?
- “The work was interesting and challenging. The support for commuting contractors was astounding. The facilities were the best ever.” – Software Engineer
- “Microsoft has some of the brightest minds I've ever worked with. They are always challenging you to grow and most are willing to help you as well. Being around the 'rank and file' employees is energizing and fun.” – Senior Technical Account Manager
- “An industry leader that has decent vision, and is an excellent partner to its customers.” – Services Executive
What do you dislike about working at Microsoft?
- “Too fast-paced to keep up with. Poor middle management. The performance review process is broken and Ballmer needs to move on.” – Anonymous employee
- “Leadership was not visionary. That being said, our group was chartered with making something new by simply restructuring the old operating system.” – Software Engineer
- “The work/life balance is sometimes lacking.” – Microsoft Business Administrator
- “Had expectations as high as the name of Microsoft, but found it to be below average. It's only about coding there and not about engineering.” – Test Developer
Tips for the Microsoft's head honchos?
- “Become innovative again and be willing to take risks. Change the review system and keep good people instead of yaysayers.” – Software Engineer
- “Get back to encouraging teamwork. The 'one Microsoft' mentality is rapidly slipping away because of the 'me first' culture that is taking root.” – Services Executive
- “Clean house. Get rid of the managers who have absolutely no moral code and bring in people who do. Profit is good (and necessary) to run a company, but it can be gained without lying to or stealing from customers and employees.” – Senior Technical Account Manager
- “Stop playing catch-up.” – Escalation Engineer