Microsoft’s Ballmer a No-Show (Again) on Earnings Call

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.


  1. It helps to always have good news.

  2. Personally I don’t think an earnings conference is the place for guerilla marketing. I think that’s one place where the numbers should do the talking.
    Still I agree Ballmer should turn up to answer questions.

  3. TechTrader says:

    Actually, I think it’s a great thing that the CEO isn’t doing the conference call. Concalls are for the benefit of everybody BUT THE COMPANY. Concalls provide info to the market and to competitors about historical financial performance, but they don’t do much for the company itself. Therefore, handing off the responsibility to people who are less valuable than the CEO is a great idea. Theoretically, the CEO’s time should be too valuable than to be spent educating everyone else on the planet about a company’s business. Microsoft is proving this to be true.
    Another thing that has bothered me about Google is that they said they would run the company according to Warren Buffet style principles yet their concalls sound like every other company’s calls. They give out as much if not more info than any other tech company but yet they said that they wouldn’t when they began. Why is no one pointing this out???

  4. Because everyone who listens to conference calls knew it was BS from the beginning?

  5. Spectator says:

    Google has gone over to the dark side. And now we have a wall street sympathizer to cheer this focus on financial dressing-up.
    Wall Street and the financial industry delude themselves that they’re doing business a favor. The reality is they’re destroying American business, aided in no small measure by Fed engineered liquidity.
    Short-term thinking, massive malinvestments, milking companies and the like, are the result of this unholy nexus. And Google is buying into this, and we can expect them to blow up and be destroyed soon enough by the same Street.