Steve Ballmer Says Tearful Goodbye To Microsoft
Microsoft’s enthusiastic chief executive Steve Ballmer delivered an emotional goodbye speech to a Seattle arena full of his staff and supporters. Audible cries of “we love you” could be heard emanating from the crowd, while Ballmer poured his heart out at his final company-wide meeting. He signed off with the song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”, which seemed extremely fitting and heartfelt.
“It’s not about one person,” Ballmer explained. “It’s about this company—a company that’s important, forward-thinking, innovative, ethical, and hires great people.”
Although Ballmer has made it clear that he loves Microsoft and has enjoyed his work there immensely, he was less clear on his reasons for leaving. Speculation surrounding the outgoing CEO’s departure from Microsoft suggests that Ballmer may have been forced out of his role. In the August 27th memo announcing his retirement from the tech industry and in the interviews that followed, Ballmer hinted that he wouldn’t be leaving if the choice were fully up to him.
During his final presentation as CEO, Ballmer told the crowd, “Microsoft is like a fourth child for me. Children leave the home, but I guess in this case I’m leaving the home.”
A committee of Microsoft officials, including Bill Gates, is currently going through the process of selecting a successor. The committee has not ruled out either external or internal candidates and contenders include Stephen Elop, Satya Nadella and Steven Sinofsky.
Ballmer, who has spent 13 years at the head of Microsoft, is viewed as a controversial figure within the tech industry thanks to his unconventional methods and unbridled excitement unleashed during his meeting and speeches.
But after watching Steve Ballmer dance, sing and high-five the crowd with the “Dirty Dancing” anthem playing over the loudspeakers, it’s undeniable that he was one of the most eccentric and energetic CEO’s the tech industry has ever seen.
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