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Steve Ballmer's two investments


tede02
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Good interview with Steve Ballmer:

 

http://www.charlierose.com/watch/60463433

 

He was very forthright with the fact that he owns two investments, Microsoft stock and a global index fund.  This is right at the 6 min mark in the interview.  That was just kind of interesting.

 

The entire interview is pretty good.  They discuss the Clipper's deal, Ballmer's history with Microsoft and the tech industry generally.  I also learned that Yahoo had a chance to buy Google for $1b in the early days and they though it was too much.  These are always fun stories. 

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Honestly, in the hands of Yahoo it might have been too much. They might have fked up yahoo AND google and then some third search engine would now have the monopoly.

 

At some point didn't Microsoft own a fairly large chunk of Apple??  IIRC they bought a stake when Apple was going through a rough patch before Jobs returned to save the day.......selling that stake would fall into the category of dumb moves

 

cheers

Zorro

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The entire interview is pretty good.  They discuss the Clipper's deal, Ballmer's history with Microsoft and the tech industry generally.  I also learned that Yahoo had a chance to buy Google for $1b in the early days and they though it was too much.  These are always fun stories.

 

Memory could be failing me, but I think the Google guys tried to sell their technology for $1 million in the early day but were turned down.

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Guest wellmont

I suspect ballmer owns lots and lots of munis, which he doesn't consider "investments".... I liked the interview rose got to ask the questions he wanted. not sure why ballmer is doing this media tour. but it's obvious that there was a loss of confidence from bg at the end, probably revolving around buying nokia. also learned they tried to buy sap. goog was never on their radar. that they did not have hardware dna and he thought that was important. that it is terribly hard for a successful company with a winning formula to do something outside the box. goog has no trouble doing this btw.

 

did not realize that bg and sb relationship had so many ups and downs. that msft lost it's way in the longhorn/vista era. also learned that he thinks apple and goog are probably better positioned than msft is today, although he likes msft long long term prospects. what I learned is that ballmer thinks like a bschooler, and not a value investor. if he thought like Malone or Singleton lets say, he never would have done a lot of the deals he tried to do and certainly not Nokia.

 

in retrospect the yahoo foray does not look awful because of YJ and baba. but in 2008 that was a smaller part of the calculus. it was still an awful deal to try in 2008. my overall impression is that he doesn't have the same humility gene that gates and buffett has. he was quite defensive about his record. I think he takes the lion's share of the credit for msft success, even though the MS/DOS windows and office products drove the company for decades.

 

It was definitely time for a change at msft and I believe the company is set up to be much more rational actor with sb off the bod and out as ceo. I don't think he was fair about amazon. he said he wants businesses to make money. but his internet business never made a dime for years and years under his watch. he kept pouring money into it. xbox was also a money sink until recently. and today it's not as good a business as most of their others, and may not fit in their portfolio.

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