Former Microsoft executive Kai-Fu Lee has a new tell-all autobiography out, and he has some juicy tales about his former employers.
According to CNET’s Jay Greene, who pulled some of the best excerpts from the book, there was a tense executive retreat in which senior Microsoft executive Orlando Ayala lit into the company and Steve Ballmer for some of its business tactics related to licensing agreements.
Ballmer deferred the criticisms and said he’d talk to Bill Gates, who was still in a full-time role at the company, although he’d stepped down as CEO.
The next day, Gates showed up and explained why he still worked for Microsoft — he wanted to defend the company from “those who call us a selfish monopoly that takes advantage of users!”
Lee claims that Gates then broke down and cried.
No doubt that Gates was emotional about the DoJ case — that matches other stories that have come out over the years from Paul Allen and others.
But Lee thinks that Ballmer was “shrewd” for bringing him in to deflect legitimate criticisms that the exec had leveled.
Lee left Microsoft in 2005 for Google, and Microsoft tried to stop him by suing him under a non-compete agreement. (Microsoft lost.) Lee has since left Google to work on Chinese startups.
The book, “Making A World Of Difference,” was translated from Chinese and is available now only as an e-book via Amazon’s Kindle Store. The book came out two years ago in China has sold more than 1 million copies there, Lee told us in an email.
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