An orchestra of one: Is Ballmer feeling lonely at the top?

Opinion

An orchestra of one: Is Ballmer feeling lonely at the top?

News of yet another executive leaving Microsoft with the departure of Windows 7 boss Brad Brooks reminded me of something that I saw at the weekend. My eldest daughter, who is going through a Frank Sinatra/Gene Kelly phase (it's great to see), got a DVD of An American In Paris for Christmas.

We were all watching it on Sunday and witnessed a scene where Adam (Oscar Levant), the concert pianist friend of Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly), has a dream sequence where he performs Gershwin's Concerto In F for Piano and Orchestra. As the scene progresses, the camera goes from Adam at the piano to the conductor, who is also Adam, to the string section (four Adams), the percussionist (another Adam) and so on. 

It strikes me that must be a little bit like the way Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is feeling right now.

PS: If you haven't seen the film you should give it a go, although I don't think it features any other parallels to the IT industry.

This was first published in January 2011

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