When you leave a company at 54 and don’t have another job, something just wasn’t working. But that’s how Microsoft Corp. chief software architect Ray Ozzie, one of the most brilliant minds in IT, walks out the door at Microsoft.
Anyone who has had the privilege of interviewing Ozzie knows that he has a masterful grasp of software – and more than that, he is a highly energetic personality and a very convincing advocate for technology he believes in. When Bill Gates hired him as his replacement, most people thought Bill had chosen well. So, what wasn’t working?
Apple 2010; the 1927 Yankees; the 1986 Celtics
Let’s see, Apple’s stock is at $300 per share, an all-time high and up from $10 per share in 2003; Apple is the second-most valuable company in the U. S., behind only ExxonMobil. The Macintosh is at 10% of personal computer sales and Apple is the third largest maker of personal computers behind Hewlett-Packard and Dell; Microsoft is coming out with Office 2011 for the Mac – which will put it close to par with the PC version; a new version of MacOS is waiting in the wings.
It’s an amazing story. To appreciate Apple’s accomplishment you have to go back to 1997 when Apple was practically in life support and the hated Bill Gates threw Apple a lifeline in the form of a $150 million investment. The uphill climb to the pinnacle of today started there.
With the appointment of Leo Apotheker as CEO, Hewlett-Packard is making a statement that global markets and software are the most important strategies for the company right now. Apotheker comes from German ERP software giant SAP AG where he was CEO.
No longer merely a US maker of computing hardware, HP has evolved to become a complete supplier of IT equipment and services. The recently departed Mark Hurd gets most of the credit for that. It’s true that HP’s stock price doubled under his leadership. But many of the key building blocks underpinning the HP edifice were put in place by his predecessor, Carly Fiorina. A stagnant stock price proved her undoing, however.
Try googling “Google and antitrust” and see how many results you get. (I got about 1,450,000 results in 0.25 seconds). And the number is increasing all the time, with Texas, Europe and the federal government all on Google’s case.
So it was with interest that I read the op-ed spread in today’s (9-17) Wall Street Journal. Read more
IBM’s acquisition of Open Pages gives the company a spearhead for its business analytics strategy – an important focus of growth at IBM. Faced with global competitors EMC and SAP, IBM had no strong message in Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) prior to the Open Pages Deal. Now, the competitive GRC landscape should prove quite vital with three giant competitors – and that’s good for customers.
In a rare interview, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano took some shots at Hewlett-Packard.
However, the real point of the interview with Wall Street Journal Editors is to defend Palmisano’s strategy of focusing his company on profitability and shareholder value, rather than on sheer size. In his eight-year tenure so far, Palmisano has succeeded at that, but at the cost of losing the crown of world’s largest IT vendor to HP. At one time, IBM dwarfed all its rivals. Its size was a blessing and a curse — it had unparalleled market clout, but was also the target of US antitrust investigations. Read more
Say what you want about Larry Ellison: he’s brash, arrogant – and often right. So the question is, is he right about Mark Hurd?
Ellison snapped up Hurd to be Oracle’s co-president soon after Hurd resigned amid business ethics allegations at H-P.
Tomorrow is 9-11-10. Nine years ago, our lives changed. Within days of the attacks, I was in New York at Ground Zero and in Queens interviewing executives at the New York Board of Trade.
Turns out NYBOT’s disaster recovery plan put the commodities trading exchange right back in business. NYBOT had been maintaining a mirrored site in Queens since shortly after the first WTC bombing in 1993. It didn’t’ take long to cut over to the Queens site and send all the traders over there. It was a brilliant plan that paid off.