Former Microsoft executive's upcoming book lambasts CEO Steve Ballmer

Joachim Kempin, former Microsoft executive, has penned a less-than-favorable book about the company and its current CEO, Steve Ballmer, who takes some flack from the author. According to Kempin, Ballmer ensures his position as top dog by bumping possible rivals out of the running. In order to pull out of its rut, says the author, Microsoft must make a change in management.

Kempin worked for Microsoft from 1983 until 2002 as a senior vice president, and according to Reuters, is the top-most former executive to publish such criticism of the company. The book in question is titled Resolve and Fortitude: Microsoft's "secret power broker" breaks his silence," and is set to hit shelves this coming Tuesday, January 22.

According to Kempin: "For Microsoft to really get back in the game seriously, you need a big change in management. As much as I respect Steve Ballmer, he may be part of that in the end." And speaking directly of Ballmer's destroy-potential-rivals attitude, he says, "When you work that directly with Ballmer and Ballmer believes 'maybe this guy could someday take over from me', my God, you will have less air to breathe, that's what it comes down to."

Several Microsoft executives have left the company over the years, including Steven Sinofsky and Richard Belluzzo. Kempin isn't Ballmer's only critic, with others having petitioned over the years for him to step-down from his position. Still, Kempin stresses that he doesn't dislike Ballmer, stating specifically that he "respects [the] guy" and that he's a good business man.

[via Reuters]