- Sources tell Bloomberg Steve Ballmer "shouted at a June meeting" that if Microsoft's (MSFT -1.1%) board didn't back his plans to acquire Nokia's phone and mapping units, he could no longer be CEO.
- Bill Gates and new CEO Satya Nadella initially opposed the Nokia deal, as did the departing Tony Bates. Nadella later relented; Bates didn't. Though Ballmer mostly got his way - the final deal didn't include the mapping unit - Bloomberg states his antics were "the last straw" for some directors.
- The news service also states Alan Mulally's ego "got in the way" of his CEO candidacy. Though the Ford CEO expressed interest in running Microsoft, he refused to formally interview.
- With Gates and other directors deciding a CEO with a tech background was needed, and many candidates (inc. Mulally) worried about Gates/Ballmer's continued influence, Nadella eventually got the job.
- Microsoft's shares tumbled the day after the Nokia deal was announced. Nokia's phone unit saw a 29% Y/Y sales drop in Q4, as plunging feature phone sales more than offset Lumia growth.
- During a recent talk, Ballmer said his biggest mobile regret is that Microsoft didn't offer integrated hardware/software solutions earlier. The remarks come shortly after Google, provider of the world's dominant mobile OS in terms of unit share, struck a deal to sell its phone unit.
Bloomberg: Ballmer pushed for Nokia deal; Gates, Nadella initially opposed
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