Nick Wingfield at The New York Times on why investors are not happy with Steve Ballmer or Tim Cook:
Of course, the real reason both Microsoft and, more recently, Apple, have become sources of investor disgruntlement have little to do with how profits and revenue have fared in the past. In Microsoft’s case, the list of Wall Street’s grievances includes the billions of dollars the company has lost seeking to compete with Google in search, multiple missed opportunities in the mobile market and worries that Microsoft’s longtime profit engines will run out of gas.
In Apple’s case, the concerns are different. In January, Apple warned Wall Street that it expected its profit to decline about 20 percent during its fiscal second quarter, results for which the company will report on Tuesday. Slowing sales, a shift to products like the iPad Mini with lower profit margins, and a lull, whether real or perceived, in breakthrough new products are all weighing heavily on Apple’s shares.
It’s a fair comparison, though I’d argue that Tim Cook’s “problems” are just misguided expectations, while Ballmer’s were actual failures on his part. But whatever you think of either CEO, it’s hard to argue with growing profits.