Summary: Muglia’s exit bodes badly for the convicted monopolist and it may have been a sacking based on a person close to Microsoft
YESTERDAY we wrote about the departure of Bob Muglia, which was rather vague and resembled the departures of Bach and Elop in the sense that Ballmer’s statements created uncertainty and led to more speculations than answers. First of all, let it be pointed out that this was another classic case of spinning bad news as wonderful news. Microsoft loves to spin it as “reorg”, as we explained 3 years ago (and provided many examples of thereafter).
“All presidents are leaving Microsoft just months apart from each other, leaving no reasonably-solid succession option for Steve Ballmer.”Microsoft understands that in order for trust from shareholders to be assured, it is better to pretend that nobody ever leaves Microsoft wilfully. Bob Muglia is no exception in that regard and he is just among many at his level who left recently (e.g. Bob Muglia, Robbie Bach, Stephen Elop, and Ray Ozzie). All presidents are leaving Microsoft just months apart from each other, leaving no reasonably-solid succession option for Steve Ballmer. “IMHO,” writes Jan Wildeboer, “Muglia and Ballmer seem to have different opinions about future of Windows Server market. No successor named means a lot IMHO.”
Well, here is some background about Muglia, courtesy of Joab Jackson who currently works for IDG:
Muglia has been with Microsoft for 23 years, leading development efforts in Microsoft Office, Windows NT and online services businesses. As president of STB, he oversaw Microsoft’s development and infrastructure products, including Microsoft Windows Server, SQLServer, Visual Studio and System Center products, among others.
Jackson also gives new signs that Microsoft Dynamics is struggling to stand on its feet (as always). Let’s face it; very few of Microsoft’s products are actually profitable. Some of the latest unprofitable ones can burn money at a pace of billions per year. They cannot rely on the cash cows forever and based on Muglia’s departure, something is not quite right with the division that handles Windows (Office too has had Elop elope). Recently it was confirmed that Microsoft is manipulating its SEC filing, specifically when it comes to fake numbers around Windows (so there is no guarantee that the rest of the report is reliable, either). This wiki page contains a lot more information on the subject.
“Recently it was confirmed that Microsoft is manipulating its SEC filing…”Microsoft’s most prominent boosters are very baffled by the news about Muglia and one of them insinuates that Ballmer actually fired Muglia, which would make it even more bizarre. To quote: “For a CEO, it’s surprisingly blunt to write: “I have decided that now is the time to put new leadership in place.” Vaguer, gentler language is generally used.
“Why the blunt talk? No one seems to know. And why is Muglia being let go when his division has been doing surprisingly well? Again, no one is sure.”
The title is “Why did Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer publicly oust Bob Muglia?” and the only comment at the time of writing rightly says: “What’s more vague than Steve Ballmer’s mail is your take on it, Preston. You haven’t answered your question that makes up the title of your post; but speculatively let the whole thing lie as is; without answers or offering insights or clues.” █