Whatever you may think about Steve Ballmer and his tenure in the big chair at Microsoft, you have to admit that the man’s good for a show. At his final companywide meeting before he retires in August, which took place in Seattle’s KeyArena, Ballmer reportedly brought them to their feet during his tearful farewell while the Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'” (which was played at Microsoft’s first meeting way back in 1983) and Dirty Dancing’s "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" blared.
He also referenced a quote from that first meeting when he said: "We have unbelievable potential in front of us, we have an unbelievable destiny." He still believes that Microsoft is “poised to write the future”, and although he said that several companies were able to do the same, he took some surprising shots at some of the major ones.
He said that Apple is concerned with being “fashionable”, while Amazon cares about being cheap and Google is most interested in “knowing more”, and that Microsoft is about “doing more”. It sounds like a great Microsoft commercial that the company could never get away with airing.
Sorry, couldn't resist
Ballmer’s time as CEO was marked in some ways by bold, risky decisions, and to that end he talked about how he pushed to turn Microsoft away from being just a software company and towards devices and services. To date, those results are decidedly mixed. It remains to be seen if his leadership will have set up the next CEO for years of success or if he’s left behind a mess that will take years to clean up (or, more likely, something in between), but one thing’s for sure. He had...the time of his life.