Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer to “F*cking Kill Google”
Taking a page from the Bob Knight school of anger management and business etiquette, upon learning that Mark Lucovsky, a former Microsoft engineer, was leaving for Google – Steve Ballmer reportedly picked up his chair and hurled it across his office. Then, according to sworn testimony, declared of Eric Scmidt, Google’s CEO, “”I’m going to f*cking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again,” the declaration quotes Ballmer. “I’m going to f*cking kill Google.”
The search engine and desktop technology wars have taken a turn for the worse as tempers have flared over the exodus of Microsoft engineers to the Google camp, with promises of heavy salaries, post-lunch volleyball, and driving old beat up cars. Why would Ballmer be so pissed at Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google? Seems that even before joining Google, Schmidt was an old foe of Ballmer’s. Schmidt, a former top executive at Sun Microsystems Inc. and Novell Inc., has the battle scars of facing the Redmond Microsoft giant.
The testimony, which Steve Ballmer feels is an exaggeration, was filed in Washington State court as Microsoft is suing to stop one of its other top executives, Dr. Kai Fu-Lee, from taking over Google operations in China. Fu-Lee is supposedly held to a non-compete in his contract and reportedly exchanged mails and messages about leaving Microsoft to work for Google over his work computer in the Microsoft offices. After leaving Microsoft, Fu-Lee went to work for Google the next day, breaching the one year non-compete.
The case is exposing the cut throat recruitment tactics of Google and the bitter competition between rivals Google and Microsoft. The statement by Lucovsky further reflects the Google mission of painting themselves as “young, energentic, regular chaps with a world of opportunity” and Microsoft as the “old boys club evil-doers.” Heck, I’m quite impressed with Ballmer’s reported chair throwing and threat to bury and kill his competition – that’s what I call gumption.