Microsoft: Steve Ballmer (CEO) & Don Mattrick (Chief of Interactive Entertainment)
Five years after Bill Gates started Microsoft, Steve Ballmer joined in 1980. Twenty years later, he became CEO of the most ubiquitous technology company in the world, with 1 billion people using MS Office. Since then, Microsoft created, and drew, more overhype and hypercriticism than most other companies combined. Though not Mr. Congeniality, Ballmer performed admirably, as Microsoft more than tripled revenues and doubled profits under his leadership. Today, the future is less certain. Their lock on the corporate world is eroding as mac lovin’ consumers drive demand and the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) reality pervades.
In contrast to the controversial Windows launches, Don Mattrick built Xbox into a highly innovative, and the world’s largest, console-gaming network. Install base is 80 million, which would make it the 19th largest country in the world after Turkey and Xbox Live player network has 48 million active users in 41 countries. The gaming division also produces windfall profits, Halo 4 made $220 million in 24 hours. The man largely behind all that is gone: to spend more time outdoors? Uhhh, no. To become CEO of Zynga, a gaming competitor known for Facebook games like Words with Friends and FarmVille.