WSJ on the Gates/Ballmer Power Struggle at Microsoft

The WSJ has an article looking at the struggle Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer had in switching around their Junior/Senior relationship.

Things became so bitter that, on one occasion, Mr. Gates stormed out of a meeting in a huff after a shouting match in which Mr. Ballmer jumped to the defence of several colleagues, according to an individual present at the time. After the exchange, Mr. Ballmer seemed "remorseful," the person said.

Gradually, Mr. Ballmer made his imprint. He restructured the company to give more decision-making power to executives, and elevated people with general management experience into positions previously held by technology-focused executives. He also worked to settle Microsoft's many lawsuits, taking a more conciliatory line than Mr. Gates typically had, Microsoft executives say.

Once Mr. Gates leaves, "I'm not going to need him for anything. That's the principle," Mr. Ballmer says. "Use him, yes, need him, no."


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