Print 20 comment(s) - last by Disorganise.. on Sep 30 at 7:16 PM

It was his last company meeting as CEO

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer attended his very last company meeting as leader of the Redmond, Washington-based company, giving an emotional goodbye speech and his usual energetic dancing. 

Ballmer took the stage at Seattle's KeyArena in front of about 13,000 Microsoft employees to give one last performance as CEO. He came onstage while "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis played over the speakers. 

He gave a speech about an hour long, with tears streaming down his face at points. He discussed his time at Microsoft, the deal with Nokia and handing the torch over to a new CEO. 

"I want to say thank you…this isn't about any one person," said Ballmer. "It's about a company that's important, that's forward thinking, that's innovative.

"We will deliver the next big thing...we will change the world again."

Ballmer managed to take a few jabs at the competition as well, describing Apple as being "fashionable," Amazon as being "cheap," Google as "knowing more," but Microsoft as "doing more."

He departed the stage to Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," which is the song that played at Microsoft's first employee meeting in 1983. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes played afterward, as Ballmer sang and danced along. 

"You work for the greatest company in the world, soak it in," said Ballmer before exiting the stage. "I believe in you, I believe in the mission. We've been a great company for years. We will be a great company for many more years."

Ballmer joined Microsoft on June 11, 1980 as the company's 30th employee and the first business manager hired by Microsoft Chairman and Co-Founder Bill Gates. Even though Ballmer has been a public figure for Microsoft for many years, some believe the company is in need of an executive shake-up -- including a new leader.

Ballmer announced last month that he plans to retire sometime over the next year. The company is currently undergoing a major restructuring plan that will unify devices like Windows Phone, PC and Xbox One. 

Sources: The Verge, Reuters

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I'll miss him
By Biff0rz on 9/27/2013 11:50:31 AM , Rating: 2
I enjoyed Steve as CEO. As a shareholder I'm excited to see what comes out of this, but I hope it doesn't rock the boat too much. I personally feel Steve was great at what he did and it's sad to see him go.

RE: I'll miss him
By danjw1 on 9/27/2013 1:58:30 PM , Rating: 2
What lose market share? Totally fail to get into the mobile market? Yep, sounds like a great job to me too. ;-)

RE: I'll miss him
By Reclaimer77 on 9/29/2013 4:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
I don't need Microsoft to have good marketshare. I damn sure don't need Microsoft to succeed in the mobile market.

What I DID need them to do, and I think I speak for many many people when I say this, is to just NOT fuck up Windows!

Yet that's exactly what happened under Balmer with Windows 8. Which surprise, lead to his "retirement" almost immediately after Windows 8 turned out to be a dud.

RE: I'll miss him
By RU482 on 9/29/13, Rating: 0
RE: I'll miss him
By kamiller422 on 9/27/2013 2:11:27 PM , Rating: 3
As a shareholder, you should be happy about his departure. MSFT has been dull for a really long time.

RE: I'll miss him
By ipay on 9/27/2013 2:53:56 PM , Rating: 5
You will be better off when Ben Affleck takes the reins as new CEO.

RE: I'll miss him
By Da W on 9/27/2013 5:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
Msft was trading at 100 times earnings in 2000 and is at about 13 times earnings now.
So compare apples with apples, stock performance sucked because the market was WAY ahead of itself. But company's profitdid grew.

RE: I'll miss him
By Mitch101 on 9/28/2013 10:32:46 AM , Rating: 2
Some people seem to forget Microsoft is still insanely profitable and where are 98% of the companies today that started at the same time? If it weren't for Steve Jobs Apple would be Chapter 11 but Bill Gates and Steve Jobs bailed it out. Now Apple is without Steve so to me Apple will be on the downward death spiral soon enough without innovation. Who tunes in to see an Apple launch any more?

That really only leaves one new competitor to Microsoft and that's Google and Google will make Microsoft probably Billion dollars due to cross licensing.

Who knows tomorrow Yahoo might become popular again in search. Sure google is reliable but is their search becoming stale or boring? Im starting to Bing more and I used Yahoo a few times recently. What happens if Google is no longer the popular search engine of choice?

RE: I'll miss him
By Disorganise on 9/30/2013 7:16:37 PM , Rating: 2
Can't see google search going anywhere soon. It's the simple things, like typing "100 USD as AUD" and getting the answer right in front of you, with history chart , versus Bing's response of a bunch of URLs or "pi" and getting not only the number but a calculator to use.

Microsoft have some great products but they do seem a bit unsure of what they want at the moment. Back in the late 90's/early noughties, there was clear direction to merge the consumer (9x) and business (NT) codebases to bring business reliability to home PCs. And whilst 2000 was launched too early, XP was really good and 7 is great. The 90's and noughties also saw a massive push into the enterprise space which has been pretty successful.
Now it seems they're trying to be trendy with win 8 and alienating their major customer base in the process. And as RIM is an example, trends come and go.

There's nothing wrong with MS chasing the fad with Google and Apple, but I think it unwise to do so with their core product. Imagine if Toyota had replaced Camry/Aurion with the 86 rather than creating new line. It probably doesn't make sense to totally fork Windows again, but there's no harm in rebranding the 'current' Win 8 as a consumer/consumption OS, and releasing a business oriented version sans Metro but on the same codebase. Kinda like 'Media Centre edition' was separate from the main XP back in the day.
If the consumer OS overtakes the business version in sales, then the market has spoken and the business version can begin to be retired in favour of metro etc.

Be interesting to see where we are in a year

RE: I'll miss him
By KurgSmash on 9/27/2013 4:26:01 PM , Rating: 4
Agreed - a lot of Ballmer hate out there, but second only to Gates he is Microsoft. He's a company man through and through and in these days of revolving CEOs it's a bit of the old school.

Sure, he looked ridiculous out there sweating like a pig and dancing like a monkey boy, but hey - you can never say he wasn't enthusiastic about his company.

Have a nice Retirement, Ball.
By AssBall on 9/27/2013 11:43:33 AM , Rating: 2
For better or for worse, MS won't be the same without him. Definitely one of the more polarizing and charismatic CEO's of the last decade.

By retrospooty on 9/27/2013 1:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
Well, energetic for sure...

YOu can tell Jason didnt do this article... No monkey dance links LOL.

Lack of vision
By W00dmann on 9/27/13, Rating: 0
RE: Lack of vision
By InsGadget on 9/27/2013 9:12:01 PM , Rating: 2

By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 9/27/2013 4:53:34 PM , Rating: 2
Cuz it would have been epic if they'd have hacked this audio in:

By Tequilasunriser on 9/28/2013 10:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
I just had one of those moments when I realized that even though I wasn't keen on all of Balmer's decisions losing him might be a more drastic change for the worse than the ones we experienced after Gates stepped down.

Windows 7 is my primary platform, I love it and I know it well. It was an excellent successor to XP. Windows 8, not so much, but it sounds like they plan to fix the mistake with 8.5.

My concern is where new leadership may take us. Something far worse than Windows 8 is a terrible thought.

he was a good front man for bill g
By KOOLTIME on 9/27/13, Rating: 0
Wasn't a good business man either
By vision33r on 9/27/13, Rating: -1
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/27/2013 6:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
If Apple did not bring out the iPhone, we would all be slave to Microsoft for another 20-30 years.

By Belegost on 9/27/2013 10:25:08 PM , Rating: 5
If Apple did not bring out the iPhone, we would all be slave to Microsoft for another 20-30 years.

I'm so glad we have been freed from the clutches of the evil slave master who offered a proprietary OS that ran on a wide array of hardware, and supported an open market for software.

Good thing Apple saved us from slavery with a propietary OS that only runs on a closed hardware platform and gives limited access to a special software store that they take a portion of all sales from. That's real freedom!

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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