On Thursday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer bid farewell to approximately 13,000 employees at what will be his last company annual meeting. Ballmer is known for his emotional delivery of speeches, and this was no exception.
ZDNet’s Liam Tung reported, “After 13 years at the helm of the world’s largest software company, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer delivered a final and emotional farewell speech to thousands of employees at a companywide meeting on Thursday.”
Bill Rigby with Reuters noted, “The CEO, whose screeching and dancing at company events is the stuff of YouTube legend, stormed the stage to ‘Can’t Hold Us’ by Seattle rap/producer duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and kept up his usual high tempo, according to several people present at the employee-only meeting. He departed to the strains of Michael Jackson’s ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,’ the song played at Microsoft’s first employee meeting in 1983, followed by ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’ from the finale of ‘Dirty Dancing,’ getting a standing ovation from the 13,000 or so Microsoft full-time employees in attendance.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Shira Ovide added, “Ballmer, choking up near the close of the roughly seven-hour meeting, told more than 10,000 attendees about his love of Microsoft and pledged the company will keep innovating and ‘change the world,’ according to people familiar with the meeting.”
The Verge’s Tom Warren wrote, “Although Ballmer is still in charge of Microsoft as CEO, the company is currently searching for a future leader to take on a new devices and services strategy. Ballmer is expected to step down as soon as a suitable replacement is found, with current speculation centering around Ford’s Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.”