What Microsoft CEO Search Leader Failed to Reveal
Microsoft board member John Thompson is tasked with leading the search for the Redmond giant's new CEO. As he winds his way through the process, there are a few points he wants Microsoft watchers to know – he's nobody's fool. [caption id="attachment_103690" align="alignright" width="300"] John Thompson, Microsoft Board Member[/caption] Thompson, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, made several points regarding the CEO search and the various constituents who are expected to weigh in. For starters, he says he won't be "Bill's pawn." Yup. Bill as in Bill Gates, Company Founder and Chairman. In his interview with the Journal, Thompson notes he has "enormous respect" for Gates, but that he didn't take the post of Lead Independent Director to be a tool. Secondly, Thompson says the CEO search wasn't prompted by Microsoft's board throwing Ballmer under the bus, because it feared action by activist shareholder ValueAct Capital Management LP, or other investors. Thompson, former CEO of security titan Symantec, said the search was driven by a decision by Ballmer to step down after he came to understand the restructuring plan could take as long as seven years, which was longer than he wanted to stay.