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Microsoft's Ballmer: Chair-tossing potty-mouth

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Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer threw a chair across his office and threatened to "fucking kill Google" when told a key employee was leaving to join the search giant.

According to legal documents filed late last week Ballmer reacted with fury when told Mark Lukovsky was joining Google.

Lukovsky's statement said:

Prior to joining Google, I set up a meeting on or about November 11, 2004 with Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer to discuss my planned departure....At some point in the conversation Mr. Ballmer said: "Just tell me it's not Google." I told him it was Google.

At that point, Mr. Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office. Mr. Ballmer then said: "Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google." ....

Thereafter, Mr. Ballmer resumed trying to persuade me to stay....Among other things, Mr. Ballmer told me that "Google's not a real company. It's a house of cards."

Lukovsky left Microsoft in March this year.

The documents were filed as evidence in the ongoing case between Microsoft and Google over the fate of ex-Microsoft employee Kai-Fu Lee. Microsoft took action against Lee in July to stop him joining Google. Microsoft claims Lee is breaching an anti-competion agreement.

Ballmer issued a statement disputing Lukovsky's version of events which it described as a "gross exaggeration".

More on John Battelle's blog here and on the BBC here. ®

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