Within minutes of announcing CEO Ballmer’s retirement, Microsoft’s brain trust has announced a short list of six replacements.
All are currently being vetted to ensure that they live up to the Steve Ballmer standard. The final decision, due within 60 days, comes down to these candidates:
Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox. With her expertise in the copying biz, Ursula could be a perfect fit for a Microsoft that’s made copying the bedrock of its business strategy.
Takekaze Akira, Sumo Wrestler. Once considered a long shot, Akira’s star is rising among developers who have grown attached to Ballmer’s raucus, sweaty events.
Sparky, San Diego Zoo. Sparky is considered the “wise old man” in primate circles. His intellectual capacity will sit well with Ballmer’s power base.
Sergio Zyman, Marketing Genius. The architect of the New Coke disaster is one of the few people on earth capable of continuing Ballmer’s unbroken string of horrific ad campaigns.
Turkey & Cheese Sandwich, Subway. With Ballmer proving that brains and vision are over-rated, this contender might even be overqualified. Would once and for all disprove Steve Jobs’ assessment that Microsoft “has no taste.”
Edward “Chico” Cymansky, Career Criminal. While Ms. Burns of Xerox has cornered the market in copying, Mr. Cymansky takes a more straightforward approach. He simply steals. This brasher tack may be just the right spirit for a reinvigorated Microsoft.
Microsoft has assured investors that the process of choosing a Ballmer successor will mirror the way Ballmer has so successfully run the company — meaning that the 60-day process will likely require 4-5 years to complete.