Bill Gates says Microsoft made mistakes in early mobile strategy

Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:59pm IST

Related Topics

Stocks

   

REUTERS - Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) Chairman Bill Gates said he was not satisfied with the company's pace of innovation over the last few years, and that it had mishandled its early mobile strategy.

"We didn't miss cellphones, but the way that we went about it didn't allow us to get the leadership. It's clearly a mistake," Gates, Microsoft's former CEO, said in a rare interview with CBS. (r.reuters.com/gez95t)

Gates hedged questions on whether he was happy with Chief Executive Steve Ballmer's performance. He said Ballmer had achieved a lot but that both he and Ballmer were not satisfied.

"(Ballmer) and I are two of the most self-critical people I know," Gates said.

"There are a lot of amazing things that Steve's leadership achieved - Windows 8, the Surface computer, Bing, Xbox. Is it enough? No. He and I are not satisfied that in terms of breakthrough things we are doing everything possible."

Ballmer took over as Microsoft's CEO in February 2000. The company's shares have dropped 45 percent since then.

A former senior Microsoft executive, Joachim Kempin, said in a book he wrote about his time at the company that Ballmer was not the right leader for the world's largest software company but held his grip on it by systematically forcing out any rising manager who challenged his authority.

His criticism echoes that of investor David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, who called for Ballmer to step down in 2011.

Microsoft has faced criticism for its latest Windows 8 versions for different devices, while its Bing search engine has won only a small market share.

(Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

FILED UNDER:

Reforms Push

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

To Boost Growth

To Boost Growth

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.   Full Article 

Bold Steps

Bold Steps

SpiceJet rescue plan marks bold bet on Indian aviation recovery.   Full Article 

New Airline

New Airline

Tata, Singapore Air venture Vistara to take off on Jan 9.  Full Article 

Online Sales

Online Sales

Knock knock. Who's there? Amazon's best-selling holiday author.  Full Article 

26/11 Plotter

26/11 Plotter

Pakistan to challenge bail for Mumbai attack "mastermind".  Full Article 

Chinese Economy

Chinese Economy

China revises up size of 2013 economy, sees no effect on 2014 growth.  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

BSE Sensex to hit 32,980 by December 2015  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage