Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and the Management of Microsoft

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : BSTA114 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1990 - 2004
Organization : Microsoft Corporation
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Software


Microsoft the world's largest computer software company is currently at a crossroads. Growth has slowed down while the competitive environment is changing. The company's new operating system, Longhorn has been delayed and the Linux threat is intensifying. A new Microsoft seems to be evolving under the joint leadership of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. In Microsoft's early years, Gates believed in centralising as much of the decision making as possible. With the organisation becoming large and unwieldy, Gates has made Ballmer in charge of operations. Gates himself has decided to concentrate on the technology aspect of the business. Ballmer has overhauled the company's image, reorganised the business and redesigned its human resource policies.

After some initial hiccups, Gates and Ballmer seem to be complementing each other and working well together. The case discusses Microsoft under the leadership of Gates and Ballmer and how the transition is taking place.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 1
Gates Management Style 2
Think Week 3
Ballmer & Gates: Redefining the Role 4
Managing Human Resources 6
The Road Ahead 8
Exhibits 9


Microsoft, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Global software industry, Anti-trust proceedings, Gates' management style, Think Week, Internal tidal wave, Trustworthy computing, Redefining roles, Managing human resources at Microsoft, Recruitment criteria at Microsoft

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