Microsoft's Ballmer faces mutiny

There are yet more signs that the shy and retiring Microsoft head Steve Ballmer is on the slippery slope to CEO oblivion, not just from irritated investors but increasingly from his own employees. 

The Seattle PI has cast its magnifying glass over the comments on a Microsoft blog post. It says at a recent company meeting, Ballmer was faced with a crowd suffering from restless bum syndrome, who deseated themselves and promptly exited mid-talk. 

One comment the PI points out is particularly damning. “What a sad spectacle,” it begins. “Back in the good old days when BillG spoke, EVERYONE listened.” It goes on to suggest Ballmer has been peddling the proverbial poisoned Kool Aid to the few faithful, like HR boss Lisa Brummel and COO Kevin Turner. Thanks to the yes-men, the post suggests, Ballmer is oblivious to the fact his employees think he’s a joke.

Another calls out Ballmer’s claim that Windows “cannot lose” as defensive, while another comment says the company meeting is “the worst one I’ve ever seen by far”. Overall, the disgruntled employees who are commenting seem to agree that Microsoft solely pinning its hopes on Windows 8 and Windows 8 tablets is a quick ready-meal recipe for disaster. 

“Is Win 8 tablet all we have left to be excited about?” a commenter ponders. “Has the morale across the company slumped so much that 20,000 of us together can’t even generate a decent applause? Please someone tell me I’m wrong.”

Wall Street is equally peeved at Microsoft. The relationship between Ballmer and the shareholders has been sketchy at best, with complaints filing in about his alleged mis-management of the coffers. Still, he might have at least bought himself some time by throwing a small bone to the suits earlier this month by raising dividends 25 percent.

A survey last year from said over half of 1,000 employees, when asked, said they didn’t think Ballmer was up to scratch. Microsoft’s still in the Fortune top companies to work for list, with a decent rate of employee satisfaction.

While at the time employees were saying overdiversifying was a bad idea, now it seems the cat-calls are screeching because Ballmer plans to put all of Redmond’s eggs in a tablet-shaped basket.