Apologia 2010: Tech Giants and Their Public Exit Interviews

November 1, 2010

Short honk: You have seen the Ray Ozzie cloud ambiguity exit memo “Dawn of a New Day.” I don’t think Mr. Ozzie was effusive in his praise for Microsoft. In fact, the references to the muffed bunny in the mobile space struck me as a dart aimed at the heart of Microsoft’s stakeholders. Microsoft’s job is to generate big money, not fumble fast growing market sectors.


Then I read “Why I Quit Goggle to Join Facebook: Lars Rasmussen”. Same deal. Rocket scientist, exit comments. The pundits are buzzing about what this means. I look at exactly what the fellow said. Not too hard to figure out:

It feels to me that Facebook may be a sort of once-in-a-decade type of company,” Rasmussen said in a telephone interview last night, explaining how he decided to end his six-year tenure at Google after a “compelling personal pitch” from Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

From the goose pond, life appears simple. Mr. Ozzie disappeared for years, popped up to quit, and then explained that Microsoft was an upside downside outfit. The obvious fact is that Mr. Ozzie is a gone goose. Bad fit, tired, unhappy with Windows 7 file manager? Who knows? Who cares. The statement communicates dissatisfaction to some degree.

Same with the Google wizard. Nothing annoys more than being reminded that one’s place in the sun has been usurped by someone younger, more fleet, more fair. Repeat of the Microsoft situation. The wizard keeps a low profile and then quits, suddenly becoming a loquacious rocket scientist.

My interest is not that Microsoft is making lots of dough doing the same old, same old. My interest is not that Googlers are jumping ship for a bigger potential payday.


I find that this disconnect expressed in these two smart men’s parting shots is now a feature of our technical environment. From the wild and crazy statements of some presidents to out-of-blue lawsuits, from petty annoyances about an executive who pursues change to convicted criminals who want early probation, the use of different communication methods for personal message delivery is interesting.

I think that technical wizards and former Enron executives believe they are really important. Not just vital for their coding or business problem solving. These individuals are vital in a sense that society pivots around each of them.  The technologist seems to be morphing into a media star.

Quick who won Dancing with the Stars in Season Three? How fleeting is fame. How easy the global dissemination of information that makes not one whit of difference. I know another exit flame will be roaring along in the near future. Technology in a desperate economy is spawning a new generation of Robert Downey Juniors and Mel Gibsons. HP triggered a Lindsay Lohan moment when one of its senior females left the HP way.

I am okay with the freedom to make these statements. I am not so okay with the attention given folks who have to find their future elsewhere. I just don’t have much interest in these oddball apologia from the theologists of technology. Dissonance.

Stephen E Arnold, November 1, 2010



One Response to “Apologia 2010: Tech Giants and Their Public Exit Interviews”

  1. Apologia 2010: Tech Giants and Their Public Exit Interviews | Payday Loan - Payday Loan up to 1000$ on November 1st, 2010 4:42 pm

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