Microsoft Corp Chairman Bill Gates said he was not satisfied with the
company's pace of innovation over the last few years, and that it had
mishandled its early mobile strategy.
"We didn't miss cellphones, but
the way that we went about it didn't allow us to get the leadership.
It's clearly a mistake," Gates, Microsoft's former CEO, said in a rare
interview with CBS.
Gates hedged questions on whether he was happy
with Chief Executive Steve Ballmer's performance. He said Ballmer had
achieved a lot but that both he and Ballmer were not satisfied.
"(Ballmer) and I are two of the most self-critical people I know," Gates said.
are a lot of amazing things that Steve's leadership achieved - Windows
8, the Surface computer, Bing, Xbox. Is it enough? No. He and I are not
satisfied that in terms of breakthrough things we are doing everything
Ballmer took over as Microsoft's CEO in February 2000. The company's shares have dropped 45 percent since then.
former senior Microsoft executive, Joachim Kempin, said in a book he
wrote about his time at the company that Ballmer was not the right
leader for the world's largest software company but held his grip on it
by systematically forcing out any rising manager who challenged his
His criticism echoes that of investor David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, who called for Ballmer to step down in 2011.
has faced criticism for its latest Windows 8 versions for different
devices, while its Bing search engine has won only a small market share.
© Thomson Reuters 2013