Bad Boy Ballmer: The Man Who Rules Microsoft

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9780066210148: Bad Boy Ballmer: The Man Who Rules Microsoft
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A portrait of Microsoft's charismatic new CEO is based on interviews with company insiders and describes his bombastic personal style, relationship with Bill Gates, and ruthless business tactics.

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About the Author:

Fredric Alan Maxwell is a journalist and researcher who has written for Newsweek, The New Yorker, Harper's and Regardies. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

From Publishers Weekly:

Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen may be the most well-known rulers of the huge computer empire, but this latest offering attempts to show that the company's current CEO, the colorful and bombastic Steve Ballmer, an early Microsoft employee and friend of Gates's from their days at Harvard, is in fact the company's muscle. Unfortunately, this "biography" is little more than a re-hashing of Microsoft's already well-documented ruthless business practices, staggering financial success and endless legal travails. Seattle-based writer and researcher Maxwell, once profiled in the New Yorker for his research skills, does succeed in assembling an array of secondary sources into a concise edition of the Microsoft saga. But as a biography of Ballmer, the book falls woefully short. Readers learn that Ballmer was born in an affluent Detroit suburb, is of Jewish heritage, was a classic overachiever who worked his way into Harvard, dropped out of Stanford Business School and was briefly employed as a brand manager for Procter & Gamble. But beyond a few examples of Ballmer's frighteningly enthusiastic style he once ripped his vocal chords while giving a particularly forceful speech there's very little about Ballmer's true impact on Microsoft, or of Microsoft's impact on Ballmer. In his introduction, Maxwell gushes that Ballmer's is the "incredible story of tremendous ambition, genius, and charisma, of intense drive and merit, of insatiable greed and blatant arrogance." But there is in fact so little Ballmer and so much Microsoft in this book, it is a stretch to call this effort a biography.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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