Even as Microsoft is poised to name a new CEO — it has been reported that the company will name insider Satya Nadella, head of its cloud and enterprise group — the process leading up to the announcement has emerged as, quite literally, a textbook example of how not to do CEO succession.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to work. Microsoft is a corporate aristocrat, albeit an eccentric duke, for which succession should be smooth, non-controversial, and unsurprising. Instead, at least 17 candidates were publicly speculated upon; leaks from employees and some of the candidates themselves competed for advantage in the media; a few presumed candidates, some of whom may never have been candidates at all, publicly disclaimed interest in the job; and Isle of Man bookies offered odds on the eventual winner.
And after the circus leaves town, some lucky person gets to clean up the mess left behind. Well, I’m sure he will be well compensated.
Microsoft Hires Rapper, Things Go Terribly Wrong. Hiring an animal act is always fraught with peril.
It’s not an embarrassment, but was it worth waiting 25 years for?
Microsoft today announced the closing of the Vine emergency meta news and social network service that they had announced in April 2009. No specific reason was given:
Despite positive feedback from customers like you over the course of Vine’s private beta, Microsoft has made the decision to discontinue Microsoft Vine effective October 11, 2010. After this date, you will no longer be able to access Microsoft Vine. We suggest that you record any contact information currently stored in Vine, prior to October 11th.
I frankly found the concept more than a trifle dubious at the time it was announced, but chalked it up as some sort of public service and public relations effort. That has now been ended.