Should Google's Vic Gundotra Become Microsoft's New CEO?


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After a healthy career with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ), Vic Gundotra left his post as general manager in 2006 to take a fresh, unspecified job with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG ). Gundotra was not allowed to join Google right away -- he was forced to take off a year before he could officially start working at his new employer. Once he did, Gundotra quickly rose up the ranks and became Google's senior VP of Engineering.

Now one analyst believes that he should return to Microsoft -- as its new chief executive.

Trip Chowdhry, the Managing Director of Equity Research at Global Equities Research, told Benzinga that the current CEO, Steve Ballmer, "probably needs to go."

"He doesn't understand…how the world is changing," said Chowdhry. "You need a person who understands technology and, number two, comes from a new generation company. Third, [he] should also have an understanding of an old-generation company, where he has been."

Chowdhry said that Gundotra fulfills all three criteria.

"Would he be successful?" Chowdhry questioned. "We don't know. But would it be a better risk to take Vic Gundotra as the CEO? I would say yes."

Chowdhry added that there is currently "a lot of frustration" within the development community. Developers are "frustrated" because they can't make money with Microsoft's platform, he said.

Ballmer has attempted to inspire developers and excite the community by showing an unprecedented level of enthusiasm . His famous "developers, developers, developers" chant has been compared to Presidential hopeful Howard Dean, who famously executed the world's first and only Dean Scream during his campaign.

As effective as that enthusiasm may have been at one time or other, Chowdhry argued that Ballmer's performance has not provided investors with something to be happy about.

The truth behind that statement is debatable. While the stock has declined more than seven percent over the last 12 months, Microsoft is up nearly five percent year-to-date. This upward trend could continue next month if and when the company unveils the next Xbox game console.

Xbox 360, one of the new products released under Ballmer's guidance, has provided Microsoft with billions of dollars in additional revenue.

Nonetheless, Chowdhry still believes that he should be replaced by Gundotra.

Note to Investors: Chowdhry's comments are merely suggestions based on his own ideas for change at Microsoft.

Thus far, the company has not given any indication that it intends to replace its CEO.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

(c) 2013 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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