It's not the best way for Steve Ballmer to end the year and it certainly raises questions how long Steve Ballmer will still work for Microsoft.
Steve Ballmer's approval rating among Microsoft declined to 35 percent from 49 percent last year. Only two CEOs in the list are rated worse - Yahoo's Timothy Morse at 31 percent and Xerox' Ursula Burns at 28 percent. The highest rated CEOs are National Instruments' James Truchard, and NetApp's Tome Georgens - both received a 100 percent approval rating. Tim Cook (Apple, 96 percent), Aart de Geus (Synopsys, 96 percent), Paul Otellini (Intel, 93 percent), Alfred Grasso (Mitre, 92 percent), Larry Page (Google, 92 percent), Mark Templeton (Citrix, 92 percent) also did well.
On the other end, Lowell McAdam (Verizon, 38 percent), Mike Walsh (LexisNexis, 42 percent), Jim Crow (Level 3, 43 percent) and Jon Riccitello (EA, 46 percent) are ranked among the least liked chief executive officers.
It is obvious that Steve Ballmer will have to take some steps to increase his popularity in one way or the other. While he repeatedly mentioned that he does not intend to retire until 2018, confirmed as CEO with a 92 percent majority last month, and still enjoys Bill gates' support, Ballmer has to deal with mounting criticism. Those rumors recently resulted in speculation that Bill Gates may be thinking about returning as CEO, which he denied.