Ballmer's Competitive Streak Drove Yahoo Bid

Microsoft CEO once vowed to 'kill Google'
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted May 4, 2008 7:36 PM CDT
In this Oct. 18, 2007 file photo of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gestures as he talks at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Microsoft's Yahoo bid put CEO Steve Ballmer to the test: How much would he pay to fulfill his promise to "(expletive) kill Google"? Forty-seven billion bucks was too high, but many say he'll try again—and may have a tough time convincing investors it's all cool calculation. Microsoft still lags behind Google in search advertising, and that makes Ballmer steam, the AP reports.

Cool calm has never been his trademark. He earned the nickname "Monkey Boy" after improvising an odd on-stage dance—a moment that Google-owned YouTube still has online. And "I'm well known not to be the world's best negotiator," he once said. But he fuels a "Microsoft machismo thing," one analyst said, "flexing their muscle and showing how serious they are."