Microsoft Notebook: Ex-executive's book tells of 'fiefdom' issues "Microsoft Corp.'s current chief executive, then its sales boss, was meeting in the mid-1990s with an overseas subsidiary that insisted on using its own measures -- rather than those set out by the company -- to assess its financial performance.
Ballmer, his face turning red as he listened, finally put an end to it. "I'll define the key measures," he told them. "It's your job to grow them."
That's one of the inside stories told by Bob Herbold, former Microsoft executive vice president and chief operating officer, in a new book due out this week. Called "The Fiefdom Syndrome," it examines and offers solutions for overcoming what Herbold describes as the human tendency to create isolated domains within larger organizations -- defending them and resisting change to the detriment of everyone involved.
Herbold, who joined Microsoft in 1994, retired as chief operating officer in 2001 but worked part time, in an advisory role, until last year. His book contains explanatory examples not only from his Microsoft days but also from his previous experience as a longtime Procter & Gamble executive and his more recent work as a business consultant."