When your back is against the wall it is nice to know that you have the support of your board.
However the shy and retiring Microsoft CEO, Steve “there’s a kind of hush” Ballmer seems to be having difficulty getting the Volish board into a decent cheer-leading team.
According to Business Insider Reed Hastings was talking at the D9 conference about the usual stuff that everyone has heard before when he got a curly question from Kara Swisher of All Things Digital.
Hedge fund manager David Einhorn recently called for Ballmer’s ouster saying he’s dragging the stock down and Swisher asked Hastings what he thought of the comments.
Normally this would be a non-question. A board member would smile and say that Steve Ballmer was a brilliant humanoid creature who had the unqualified backing of his board.
Hastings said: “I care about the outfit . The best way for me to serve the shareholders is to not answer your question. A straight no comment.” All he had to do is add “Oh look over there there is a badger with a handgun” and leg it while everyone looked behind them.
This is not your normal “no comment”, this has a bit of history behind it. This is like saying “I want Steve dead, but I can’t tell you that because my shares will drop down the toilet.”
If he did not mean that, then it is time for Hastings to do another bit of training on how to handle the media.
We do not think that we are the only ones who will be reading a lot into that comment and wondering if Steve having a few problems with his board.