At the end of last month Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer announced his intentions to retire within the next 12 months and today was that sad moment where he had to bid farewell to employees in his final company meeting as CEO. According to The Verge , in an hour long speech that drew him to tears at some point, Ballmer told employees “we will deliver the next big thing… we will change the world again.” He further discussed the Nokia deal and him passing over the CEO role to a new leader.
During the meeting there was an odd song request Ballmer chose to play as apparently its the same song he used back at his first company meeting in 1983: Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”. Apparently he jumped and danced around the stage screaming at the top of his voice “the sound of Microsoft!” After the song ended, 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.”
The out going CEO ended his speech with Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ “I’ve had The Time of My Life” playing in the background before he screamed “I’ve had the time of my life” and continued to dance and run around the stage. Microsoft employees in the audience shook hands with Ballmer and screamed “we love you” as they cheered and clapped
throughout his final speech.
The company is currently searching for a future leader to take on a new devices and services strategy. current speculation centers around former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Rord’s Alan Mulally.