Thanks for Dave Mark at the Loop for this find.
Dina Bass, Beth Jinks and Peter Burrows writing for BloombergBusinessweek:
Ballmer’s relations with the board hit a low when he shouted at a June meeting that if he didn’t get his way he couldn’t be CEO, people briefed on the meeting said. The flare-up was over his proposed purchase of most of Nokia Oyj (NOK1V), and part of an ongoing debate: Should Microsoft be a software company or a hardware company too?
Several directors and co-founder and then-Chairman Bill Gates — Ballmer’s longtime friend and advocate — initially balked at the move into making smartphones, according to people familiar with the situation. So, at first, did Nadella, signaling his position in a straw poll to gauge executives’ reaction to the deal. Nadella later changed his mind.
If I were Microsoft's board I would have called his bluff. It would have saved them from a probably horrible acquisition and gotten rid of the dead weight.