I have no particular opinion about Steve Ballmer, but I sure don’t buy this argument:
It matters who’s at the top. It sets the company tone. Microsoft is undoubtedly full of very smart people, but as long as they are being run by Steve Ballmer, they’re going to be shackled by his ineptitude.
I wish Microsoft had their evil genius back.
If this chart shows anything about the genius of Bill Gates, I would say it’s that he showed a good sense of timing in when it was a good time to get out. I bet that if Gates had some brilliant notion up his sleeve of some thrilling new ways for Microsoft to expand, that he would have stuck around and overseen them. But he didn’t. So he quite wisely decided that he was already a very rich man and he did have ideas on a bunch of other topics, so off he went to do important work tackling global public health and domestic education reform issues.