Author, California Senate president pro tem lash out at Microsoft CEO Ballmer

Steve Ballmer - Courtesy
Steve Ballmer
— image credit: Courtesy

Former Microsoft Windows sales senior vice president Joachim Kempin's new book, "Resolve and Fortitude," has been released today.

"Once dubbed Microsoft’s 'secret power broker,' I describe how the company rose from the ashes to unforeseen heights, and how it stalled after it lost its antitrust fight with the government," Kempin wrote on his blog today.

"After twenty years with Microsoft, I felt I was the perfect candidate to chronicle a certain part of its fascinating history and pass judgment on its future."

In an interview with Reuters today, Kempin criticized Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: "When you work that directly with Ballmer and Ballmer believes ‘maybe this guy could someday take over from me’, my God, you will have less air to breathe, that’s what it comes down to. It was Steve’s way or the highway.”

Ballmer's involvement in Chris Hansen's Seattle group set to purchase the Sacramento Kings professional basketball team has also been called into question today in a letter sent to California Department of General Services director Fred Klass. California Senate President Pro Team Darrell Steinberg wrote the letter and distributed it to USA TODAY Sports and several other media outlets.

In part, the letter reads:

"I read with distress recent media accounts reporting that Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation, is actively engaged in discussions and may now have a general agreement to purchase NBA's Sacramento Kings — a franchise which has generated significant jobs and revenue for both our region and the State of California for 27 years — and move it to another state.

"If true, I am troubled that a company and a CEO that has for so long enjoyed a prosperous and beneficial working relationship with the State of California and its taxpayers would blatantly engage in activities which are clearly and measurably detrimental to our State's job and revenue base — not to mention use profits earned through business with our State to appropriate a California-based asset."


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