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Summary:

Microsoft’s outgoing CEO took the stage in Seattle to dance, jump, yell and cheerlead. But mostly to say goodbye.

Steve Ballmer at Windows Phone event
photo: Microsoft

Did you really expect Steve Ballmer to go quietly? The Microsoft CEO who once mock-stomped on an employee’s iPhone and who screamed the  “developers chant” at the top of his lungs for what seemed forever?

Nope. And neither did Microsoft employees. And reports out of the company’s annual employees meeting paint an emotional goodbye. At one point, according to The Verge, Ballmer danced on stage to Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” and screamed “the sound of Microsoft!” Then, according to the Verge:

an emotional Ballmer paused to “enjoy this for a minute,” with tears visibly streaming down his face. “You work for the greatest company in the world, soak it in.”

Last month Ballmer, who has been under pressure from shareholders, said he will cede the Microsoft’s top job “within a year” but smart money is the transition will come much sooner than that. Ford CEO Alan Mulally and former Microsoft biz dev chief Tony Bates are seen as top candidates to succeed him.

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  1. If MSFT is aiming to become a Devices and Services Company, they’ll likely need more help with ‘Devices’ end of things.

    (No dig to the current great workers there now) Rather, I imagine engineers would appreciate someone at the helm who brings with them a great understanding of engineering and design.

    Of the two, Alan Mulally appears the better choice.

    1. @david J Ramos who else would be on your short list for CEO?

      1. I don’t have any special industry insight.

        Just makes sense to me to elect someone who would help bring the company in the direction they want to go. And if that persons brings with them a strength that the company would like to have, the better! If I were an investor, that’s what I would do.

      2. There is an apocryphal tale of Ben Franklin, when emerging from the Constitutional Convention, was asked what kind of government the American people would be getting.

        “A Republic,” Franklin replied, “if you can keep it”

        And so Microsoft has, in Nokia, acquired the greatest devices company in the world–if they can keep it, and the magic that made it so special.

  2. Every time I see one of these tech company employee presentations I thank God I don’t work for a tech company. I can’t imagine having to sit through such nonsense.

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