Microsoft today posted a transcript of CEO Steve Ballmer’s talk to Stanford University yesterday, in which he took a poke at Google’s headcount growth. We reported it here based on coverage of reporters in the room. Reading the full transcript this morning, Ballmer’s comments come off a bit more watered down.
The question Ballmer was responding to is a bit garbled on the transcript, but basically asks him to compare Google’s growth to Microsoft’s.
Ballmer: Yes, we went from 24 to 75,000 people over 27 years, and if you did a compound growth rate and headcount, you’d get a relatively low number, it’s just a lot of years and it’s very consistent.
I think with the particular competitor you mentioned, they’re trying to double in a year. I think that’s insane, in my opinion. It doesn’t mean they won’t do it well.
But we’ve been digesting a certain percent growth over many years, and what that’s allowed us to do is to build up a base of capable people who can take on more capable people.