Bill Gates vs. Steve Ballmer: A Tale of Two CEOs (Chart)

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Last week we argued that Steve Ballmer was driving Microsoft off a cliff. Consider this chart the distilled version of that post.

The graphic -- created by Eric Pukinskis -- tracks Microsoft's market value over the past two decades, under both the leadership of original founder Bill Gates and current CEO Ballmer.

As ZDNet points out, it's important to note that Ballmer took over right as the government's antitrust suit against the Redmond company was in full swing. And Pukinski's chart has a screwy scale that makes Gates' performance look even more impressive than it really is. But not even the wonkiest y-axis could excuse Microsoft's lack of innovation during the Ballmer Years. Or, as it should be known, the Trending Down Era.

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