Is Microsoft Better Off Without Gates?

Is Microsoft Better Off Without Gates? – Forbes.com

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Change is the only constant” is a favorite cliché among technology types. But for an industry that loves to talk about change, its leading lights don’t do too much of it, at least not when it comes to turning over control of their companies. Apple, Dell, Microsoft and Oracle are all run by the guys who founded them back in the 1970s and 1980s.

But soon those leaders will move on. First to go is Bill Gates, who on June 27 steps aside at Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT – news – people ). Next, I’d wager, will be Steve Jobs, for health reasons. Jobs, 53, underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004 and lately has been looking frightfully gaunt. Apple (nasdaq: AAPL – news – people ) PR folks claim he’s fine. Problem is, Apple PR is known for having a Clintonesque relationship to the truth. If Jobs is still running Apple at year end, I’ll be shocked.

Also headed for the exits will be Larry Ellison at Oracle (nasdaq: ORCL – news – people ). Ellison claims to be 63 years old but is barely aging (I secretly believe he’s several hundred years old, and a vampire) and these days he seems more passionate about sailboat racing than about schlepping database software. My guess is Ellison will acquire software maker Salesforce.com (nyse: CRM – news – people ) and replace himself with its 43-year-old founder and chief executive Marc Benioff, a former marketing whiz at Oracle. “

(Read Full Article forbes )

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