Pickens notes a TechCrunch analysis wondering — after Windows Vista and the failed Yahoo bid — whether Steve Ballmer's days at Microsoft are numbered. "Ballmer has been the big driver behind [the Yahoo] deal at Microsoft — some would say to the point of obsession. After the disaster that has been Windows Vista, Ballmer may have realized he needed to redeem himself in the eyes of Microsoft's board. And the 'transformative' deal with Yahoo was the way he was going to do it... If Microsoft's board loses patience with him, it might have to ask Bill Gates to temporarily come back as CEO until it finds a replacement. After all, Ballmer has already made a strong and convincing case for why Microsoft needs Yahoo to make its online and advertising strategy work. It's not clear whether Microsoft can achieve its objectives on its own or through other acquisitions. Maybe Ballmer thinks he can still do the deal by making Yahoo's stock price collapse and come back with a hostile offer."
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