Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer was a no-show again on the company’s earnings conference call last night. Microsoft continues to maintain a no-CEO posture on such things — neither Gates nor Ballmer have been on a Microsoft earnings conference call in at least two years — and I keep wondering why they do it. It makes the company seem defensive and over-murky, among other things.
Rather than treating such calls as purely financial events that are beneath Ballmer and sending the CFO out to spin, couldn’t Microsoft steal a page from The Google? Last earnings conference call Google had Larry, Sergey, and Eric on the call with the financial types, and they spun and sold furiously. Going back over the couple of years of Google earnings calls, such royal attendance is the rule at Google, very much unlike their wrong-headedly shy counterparts at Microsoft.
It is another example of where the Google guys get guerilla marketing, and Microsoft is stuck in the past.