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Microsoft Says Goodbye to Stephen...Elop

This wasn't the Steve whose job was rumored to be on the line. In fact, he really never seemed to go by Steve at all, but we needed to call him that in order to come up with a clever headline that would create some confusion with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Unlike Ballmer, who has been under fire for many quarters for years now, Stephen Elop was a standout at Microsoft as head of the company's Office and Dynamics product lines, among others. That must be why Nokia chose Elop to be its next CEO.

We, too, are surprised to hear that Nokia still exists, but with Elop at the helm the company isn't Finnish yet; in fact, it's just getting started. (Thank you! We'll be here all week.) Seriously, though, we have no doubt in Elop's ability to get Nokia back on track.

What we are wondering is how much of a magnet Microsoft still is for executives these days. Now, obviously, a CEO gig at a company such as Nokia trumps even a high-level job in Redmond (we guess), but Microsoft seems to be losing more net brain power than it's bringing in.

Maybe that's because Microsoft isn't a sure-thing stock moneymaker anymore and hasn't been for quite a while. Those options just don't look as attractive as they used to. Or maybe it's because the company is experiencing something of a vision deficit since the departure of Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie being a relative disappointment in the messiah department.

In any case, with one Steve moving on, there's another who has another big pair of shoes to fill and will, no doubt, have to field a few more questions about his own future.

Is Microsoft as attractive an employer as it once was? Send your thoughts on the matter to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 09/13/2010 at 1:23 PM


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