Microsoft buoyant but Windows 8 sales poor

Microsoft’s CFO Peter Klein is the latest top executive to flee Redmond’s Vole Hill in what some analysts think is a by-product of Steve Ballmer sticking to power.

Klein is leaving at the end of June after 3-1/2 years in the post and more than a decade working for Microsoft. Microsoft said a new CFO would be named in the next few weeks from within its ranks.

The Times of India  points out that Microsoft is struggling with declining personal computer sales and a lukewarm reception for the new Windows 8 and the company CEO Steve Ballmer is facing lots of calls to leave too.

Brendan Barnicle, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities said that there had been a lot of executives leaving Microsoft recently. This also makes a departure by Steve Ballmer less likely. It would be very unusual to have a CEO leave soon after a CFO departure.

Before becoming Microsoft CFO, Klein served as corporate vice president and CFO of Microsoft’s Business Division and looked after the financial performance of the division which includes the Microsoft Office System, Unified Communications, Microsoft Business Solutions and other businesses.

Klein went out in as much of a high note as possible, given the economic circumstances. Yesterday Microsoft reported a profit of $6 billion, or 72 cents per share, in the fiscal third quarter, up from $5.1 billion, or 60 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

The cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street believed that Microsoft would make 68 cents a share and Microsoft shares rose 1.5 percent in after-hours trading.

This means that the company had a strong performance for a quarter with the worst decline in PC sales on record, something a CFO could be proud of.

But it also saw zero growth in its Windows unit which would have been much better if Windows 8 had been making any impact.