Getting Out While the Going Is Good

Matthew Yglesias offers another explanation for Microsoft’s stock price stagnation under Ballmer: that Gates left when he was out of ideas, and Microsoft wouldn’t have fared better this decade if he’d stayed on the job. It’s also the case that the entire stock market was booming in the ’90s and wasn’t in the ’00s.

But whether Gates would have done a better job than Ballmer is a different question than whether Ballmer has done a good job. Apple’s growth this past decade can largely be accounted for with two words: iPod and iPhone. Microsoft wanted in on both those markets, and got smoked. That’s on Ballmer.

Friday, 4 June 2010