Today at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer detailed her views on Microsoft and its coming executive shakeup. Her broad take is simple: “A strong Microsoft is good for the industry.”
She went on to detail that she saw the most strength in Microsoft on its enterprise-facing business, name-checking Windows and Office as examples of that heft.
Interviewer Michael Arrington asked her whom she might want to take the helm of Microsoft, a company that her Yahoo depends on for guaranteed search revenue. She demurred the answer, claiming no knowledge of selection process, but did praise current and former Microsoft leaders Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates.
Should Gates come back? Mayer noted that there is “nothing like the passion of a founder to run a company.” That said, it’s well known that Gates is not coming back, so the speculation is moot.
Why is it good for the industry if Microsoft is healthy? A simple answer is enough: When Microsoft is strong, it provides a strong counterbalance to Google. Who else is doing search, for example, if not Microsoft? Who wants to take on Google at its own game, and lose billions in the process? And Microsoft can only do that if it is healthy enough to take the losses.
And now that Mayer is a Xoogler, and not a Googler proper, that matters to her.