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Forbes Calls Microsoft's Steve Ballmer Worst CEO Today

By - Source: Forbes | B 76 comments

Forbes names five CEOs that should have already been fired, with Microsoft's Steve Ballmer at the top of the list.

On Monday Forbes named its Top 5 CEOs that should have already been fired, throwing Cisco Systems' John Chambers at the bottom of the list for having served with the company since 1995. He has reorganized Cisco three times, and failed to bring the company up to speed once the industry moved to cloud computing. The company's stock lost half its value between 2001 and 2007, and has since halved again.

For the fourth position on the list, Forbes chose Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric. "GE has only had 9 CEOs in its 100+ year life.  But this last one has been a doozy," Forbes writes. "After more than a decade of rapid growth in revenue, profits and valuation under the disruptive 'neutron' Jack Welch, GE stock reached $60 in 2000.  Which turns out to have been the peak, as GE’s value has gone nowhere but down since Mr. Immelt took the top job."

In the third position is Walmart's Mike Duke who should have been fired long ago based alone on bribing foreign officials to grow the company. He knew about the illegal activity, didn't do anything about it, and then tried to change U.S law to diminish the legal repercussions. "It’s clear that internally the company and its Board knew Mr. Duke was willing to do anything to try and grow Walmart, even if unethical and potentially illegal," Forbes writes.

Ranking in the #2 spot is Edward Lampert of Sears Holdings who, unlike the others on the list, only serves as Chairman of the company. This one is fairly obvious for those who knew the Sears chain of old: it was the place to go for just about anything, whether it was appliances, tools, clothes and toys. According to Forbes, Lampert called every shot since he took over Sears and missed every target. The chain went from being the most critical force in retailing, to one of the most irrelevant.

Finally, we have Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, the #1 CEO on Forbes' Top 5 CEOs Who Should Have Already Been Fired. "Not only has he singlehandedly steered Microsoft out of some of the fastest growing and most lucrative tech markets (mobile music, handsets and tablets) but in the process he has sacrificed the growth and profits of not only his company but 'ecosystem' companies such as Dell, Hewlett Packard and even Nokia," Forbes writes.

Microsoft peaked at $60 per share back in 2000 just as Ballmer took over as CEO. But two years later, shares dropped into the $20s, and now hovers in the low $30s. Ballmer has admitted that Vista's development cost too much and that it launched too late. He even stated that Microsoft missed the boat in regards to getting into the smartphone sector promptly after Apple changed the world with its iPhone. The company has launched and discontinued many products during his tenure, but still remains the same company he took control of over a decade ago.

Forbes offers a lot more on each subject, so be sure to read why these five are on this Top 5 list. "The 5 CEOs in this column are well on the way to leading their companies into the kind of problems [RIM, Best Buy and American Airlines] have already discovered," the article concludes.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    halcyon , May 15, 2012 5:21 PM
    Okay...let's leave politics out of this and keep it Steve-Ballmer-needs-to-be-fired.
  • 21 Hide
    headscratcher , May 15, 2012 5:34 PM
    aaronstyleHe does an incredible impersonation of Michael Jackson's Thriller.

    Put a black hood on him and he'd look like the evil emperor from Star Wars
  • 19 Hide
    carlosb , May 15, 2012 8:15 PM
    I dont see EA's CEO on the list
Other Comments
    Display all 76 comments.
  • 18 Hide
    atmos929 , May 15, 2012 4:11 PM
    amazing pic
  • 17 Hide
    ashesofempires04 , May 15, 2012 4:21 PM
    That is a great pic. He does look the part of a megalomaniac who OD'd on anti-depressants and decided to go give a powerpoint.
  • -4 Hide
    carvedinside , May 15, 2012 4:27 PM
    He deserves the no.1 spot. And with Windows 8 heading Vista's route, he will get the boot.
  • 13 Hide
    burntham77 , May 15, 2012 4:27 PM
    http://www.ladyofthecake.com/mel/frank/images/soup.jpg
  • -6 Hide
    lamorpa , May 15, 2012 4:31 PM
    Why does he have a dent in his head? The picture must be doctored.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 15, 2012 4:32 PM
    I note that all these guys Forbes has thrown under the bus are Democrats. Wonder if that has anything to do with Steve's politics which, as we all know, is far to the right of Atilla the Hun.
  • 0 Hide
    Trialsking , May 15, 2012 4:40 PM
    jheffelI note that all these guys Forbes has thrown under the bus are Democrats. Wonder if that has anything to do with Steve's politics which, as we all know, is far to the right of Atilla the Hun.

    Good, too many lefties already.
  • 10 Hide
    halcyon , May 15, 2012 4:45 PM
    Steve Ballmer is a Democrat? I'm embarrassed for our party.
  • 12 Hide
    Stardude82 , May 15, 2012 4:46 PM
    jheffelI note that all these guys Forbes has thrown under the bus are Democrats. Wonder if that has anything to do with Steve's politics which, as we all know, is far to the right of Atilla the Hun.

    Most of the super rich are liberals. "Forbes" is mostly poorly researched right wing dribble, but I by in large agree with this list.
  • 2 Hide
    RaQin , May 15, 2012 5:08 PM
    halcyonSteve Ballmer is a Democrat? I'm embarrassed for our party.


    I think you have your right and left confused :-P

  • 10 Hide
    headscratcher , May 15, 2012 5:10 PM
    halcyonSteve Ballmer is a Democrat? I'm embarrassed for our party.

    Hillary Clinton, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Ried, Barak Obama, Chris Dodd, ..... and you're embarrassed of Ballmer.
  • 25 Hide
    halcyon , May 15, 2012 5:21 PM
    Okay...let's leave politics out of this and keep it Steve-Ballmer-needs-to-be-fired.
  • 12 Hide
    aaronstyle , May 15, 2012 5:24 PM
    He does an incredible impersonation of Michael Jackson's Thriller.
  • 0 Hide
    hoofhearted , May 15, 2012 5:29 PM
    Didn't Mr Obama make a claim that his budget would cut the deficit in half? Maybe he should be atop that list.
  • 21 Hide
    headscratcher , May 15, 2012 5:34 PM
    aaronstyleHe does an incredible impersonation of Michael Jackson's Thriller.

    Put a black hood on him and he'd look like the evil emperor from Star Wars
  • 5 Hide
    adrums63 , May 15, 2012 5:45 PM
    They forgot one: CEO Steve Forbes, for letting his staff continue to write stupid articles that people put way too much stock in.
  • 5 Hide
    sweboy1977 , May 15, 2012 5:51 PM
    Stephen Elop the Microsoft trojan, Symbian killer and Nokia stock crasher should be number one.
  • 4 Hide
    dgingeri , May 15, 2012 6:08 PM
    I was going to say I'd put IBM's CEO at the top, ahead of Steve Balmer, but I just found out they replaced him at the beginning of this year. Over the last two decades, IBM has become the biggest bunch of incompetent buffoons in the world. If you've worked on any of IBM's servers, especially the Power series, you know what I'm talking about. Sure, they still have tons of government contracts keeping them afloat, but we all know how government is slow to change to better technologies, and difficult to get rid of their "friends" entrenched through contracts and existing infrastructure.

    I really, really hope their new CEO manages to turn that company around.
  • 0 Hide
    SAL-e , May 15, 2012 6:16 PM
    My vote goes for Steve Ballmer as well. He should be #1, because he is turning MS into Patent Troll company.
    They started the patent war with Android, and now Motorola/Google are very close to get injunction against X-box in USA and Germany. The only hope they have left that current case in San Francisco goes in MS favor and forces Motorola back off. If Motorola prevail in this case MS will be forced to settle with Motorola/Google on Google's terms.
  • 11 Hide
    dark_lord69 , May 15, 2012 6:26 PM
    "Vista's development cost too much and that it launched too late."
    LOL, Those were not the only problems with Vista!
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