Dec 212010

While I’ve got my Microsoft haymaker working, I want to spend a minute on Microsoft’s leadership. No, not the fat, bald and sweaty leadership, but the people who provide the company with their strategic bearing, who lend the deep expertise of their respective roles as innovators and captains of industry to guide the long-term growth of the company. Ladies and gentlemen: Microsoft’s current Board of Directors:

Steven A. Ballmer – Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation
William H. Gates III – Chairman, Microsoft Corporation

Dina Dublon – Former Chief Financial Officer, JPMorgan Chase
Charles H. Noski – Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Bank of America Corporation

Because nothing inspires respect and screams innovation to shareholders like having some bankers on your board – especially in this era of bailouts and all the goodwill that has engendered. I guess when you’re a company that’s as universally reviled as Microsoft, your BoD leadership should reflect it.

David F. Marquardt – General Partner, August Capital

Random Silicon Valley VC. Wikipedia’s minor entry cuts and pastes his August Capital bio and references it with a broken link. Major player, obviously.

Dr. Helmut Panke – Former Chairman of the Board of Management, BMW AG

In my informal survey, people that drive BMWs are both shitty drivers and assholes. Watch one of their ads and tell me you don’t want to punch someone immediately afterward.

Raymond V. Gilmartin – Former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Merck & Co., Inc.

Wow – big name there. Oops – turns out he was “the Vioxx guy”. By sheer coincidence, Gilmartin acquired the additional title of “Former” shortly after the Vioxx scandal broke and Merck’s stock tanked. Fortunately for Microsoft, they don’t make drugs and their stock is already flaccid. He no doubt brings valuable experience from his numerous beatdowns at the hands of litigators and government counsel to a company that periodically gets ravaged by both private litigators and the federal government.

Maria M. Klawe – President, Harvey Mudd College

Helps to have an academic on your Board. Thankfully, Microsoft was able to land one with an awesome pedigree.

Reed Hastings – Founder, Chairman and CEO, Netflix, Inc.

There’s your explanation for the solitary mainstream use of Silverlight. Fuckhead.

They say that a company’s Board of Directors is a direct reflection of that company’s values. This is no doubt the case in Redmond.

 Posted by at 2:36 pm  Tagged with:

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