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Steve Ballmer's replacement must be a 'product person' if Microsoft is to thrive

Jon Phillips | Aug. 27, 2013
It's a really simple concept: Tech company CEOs are judged by the products that are released under their watch.

The hunt for Microsoft's next CEO is already underway, and as pundits bandy about the names of possible replacements, I'm struck with an overwhelming sense of dread.

Nokia's Stephen Elop, seriously? He has the taint of crappy Windows Phone sales all over him. And Steven Sinofsky, former president of Microsoft's Windows Division? He's a brilliant thinker, but how can the man whose name is most closely tied to Windows 8 be a serious candidate for the job?

If Microsoft has any chance of thriving in the new mobile world order, it will need to hire a product person to lead the company forward. Google Developer Advocate (and former Microsoft evangelist) Don Dodge had the right idea when he tweeted that Yahoo's Marissa Mayer or Twitter's Jack Dorsey would be better choices. Neither Mayer nor Dorsey are hardware people, but they're product people--and they understand user experience in the mobile age.

 

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