Daily Archives: August 23, 2013

John Gapper

Steve Ballmer of Microsoft

Steve Ballmer. Image by Getty.

No chief executive wants the company’s shares to jump sharply on the news that he or she is stepping down.

Pent-up relief, however, was the reaction to Steve Ballmer’s decision to retire as Microsoft chief executive within a year.

It has been a long time coming. Mr Ballmer has struggled mightily since becoming the boss in 2000 to keep Microsoft at the front of the computing and software industry, but has allowed it to be eclipsed by Google and Apple. Read more

Emma Jacobs

In today’s Working Lives feature I spoke to four novelists who quit banking and law to write. A few found their former careers fertile subject matter for fiction.

After the financial crash, some writers addressed the issue raised by Sir Howard Davies, former director of the London School of Economics and chairman of the judges of the Man Booker literary prize, who complained that there was a dearth of British novelists showing any interest in business. Out came John Lanchester’s Capital, Sebastian Faulks’s A Week in December, and Justin Cartwright’s Other People’s Money. In the US, Jonathan Dee’s The Privileges, and Union Atlantic by Adam Haslett featured bankers. Read more