The man or woman who replaces Ballmer will be determined to build the next iPod. He or she will still have the same bad information and blame-based culture but won't have the same focus on financials that Ballmer did. This means the part of Microsoft that's actually working is likely to fail, while we'll get a few more Zunes. As much as I liked the latest version of the Zune, I doubt a higher volume of them will make for greater success.
Therefore, Microsoft's next CEO will be more of a failure than Ballmer - unless Microsoft fixes the cause of Ballmer's failure first. Can Microsoft do that, or is the company doomed to embody Albert Einstein's definition of insanity and keep doing the same thing but expecting a different result?
Rob Enderle is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. Previously, he was the Senior Research Fellow for Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group. Prior to that he worked for IBM and held positions in Internal Audit, Competitive Analysis, Marketing, Finance and Security. Currently, Enderle writes on emerging technology, security and Linux for a variety of publications and appears on national news TV shows that include CNBC, FOX, Bloomberg and NPR.
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