A week since the shock announcement that Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer is to retire and the technology industry is still sizing up what the decision means for the company, and the wider market.
Many are wondering who the successor to Ballmer could be with internals at the firm – and outsiders such as Marissa Mayer, Stephen Elop and even Apple chief Tim Cook – being touted as the sort of heavyweights that might relish the challenge of Microsoft.
But whoever takes over from Ballmer faces many challenges and issues that will need addressing, and quickly, in order to ensure that the firm maintains its position in the market, and to claw back ground from rivals such as Apple and Google, the two firms that have eroded Microsoft’s former position as the number one IT giant.
10. Raise the share price
When Ballmer announced he was retiring the Microsoft share price rose by seven percent. In some ways this sums up everything that the market had come to see as wrong with the company. Investors' lack of confidence in Ballmer meant the company stock price has flatlined for years.
By contrast, Apple and Google have seen their share prices soar, especially Apple, which at one point passed $700, making it the most valuable company on the planet. The price has since dropped, but it remains just shy of $500. Microsoft is just $33.26.
While stock price shouldn't be seen as the be all and end all of a company's success, for Microsoft is has become indicative of its inability to excite and inspire. As such, any incoming executive will need to make sure its price tracks north in order to prove their worth to the company.
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