Nothing can possibly explain Microsoft’s total ineptitude in the consumer electronics market than the composition of its board. The only real techie is Bill Gates, who never really understood consumer electronics. Reed Hastings understands the efficiencies to be gained from digital delivery of movies, but nobody on this board knows has the background that would lend itself to understanding software design, device architecture, or user experience. Virtually everyone on this board has a business training, and that probably explains why nobody can see beyond Microsoft’s traditional business model of leveraging its monopoly status solely for the purpose of exploiting its customers.
With his departure, the Redmond computer giant (NASDAQ: MSFT) will have nine members: Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft; Steve Ballmer, CEO; Dina Dublon, former CFO of JPMorgan Chase; Raymond Gilmartin, former chairman, president and chief executive officer of Merck & Co. Inc.; Reed Hastings, founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix Inc.; Maria Klawe, president, Harvey Mudd College; David Marquardt, general partner at August Capital; Charles Noski, former vice chairman of AT&T Corp.; and Helmut Panke, former chairman of the board of management at BMW AG