Thursday, January 13, 2000
The Chairman is dead … long live the Chairman!
It was bound to happen sooner or later, but Gates resigns!
Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft, stepped down, with Ballmer replacing him.
Was this prompted by the DOJ investigation? Possibly, but not in the way you think. Gates has been, for pretty much the late 80s and 90s, Microsoft. The two are one. Microsoft, Gates. Gates, Microsoft. Given the way Microsoft botched the DOJ trial, I almost think that this was orchestrated from the beginning as a way to allow Gates to retire from Microsoft without the stock tanking once he left.
Gates is nothing if not a brilliant (if not outright ruthless) businessman who's entire fortune is tied to a huge paper tiger. Even if he wanted to, he couldn't liquidate his stocks fast enough.
Then again, if Gates said they were splitting the company, he could pull it off without the hold DOJ thang to blame it on. He pulled the company around 180 degrees several times in the 90s to make up for missed opportunities without so much as a pause so maybe the whole DOJ thang was a blunder on their part.
I don't know.