After three decades at Microsoft’s steering wheel,Â entertaining the company’sÂ fans and critics,Â Steve Ballmer is finally stepping down.
While Ballmer is expected to leave his CEO’s chair withinÂ next months, his farewell to the company’s employees has been captured in a video that reveals the passion and love he seems to have for his work.
The video for Microsoft employeesÂ begins with a red-faced and extremelyÂ sad chief executive on stage, bathed in the glare of stadium spotlights as thousands of employees look on, Mashable writes.
In what appears to be an exprompt speech, Ballmer unveiles his own vision ofÂ his love for the job and Microsoft employees.
With his voice wavering, Ballmer says, âThis isnât about any one person, itâs about the company âŚ It’s my whole professional world. Microsoft is like a fourth child to me. Children do leave the house. In this case, I guess I’m leaving the house.â
However, things change drastically as the Microsoft CEOÂ performs his exit music, the theme from the 1987 film Dirty Dancing called, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.”
After that, when Ballmer appears to beÂ no longer able to contain himself, he rushes to weep openly, storming the audience, giving high fives and hugs to his employees.
The end of the video shows the soon-to-be-ex chief giving one of his trademark enthusiastic air punches, as he trots out of the stadium to a standing ovation.
The news of Ballmer’s retirement came in August. âIâll work closely with the other members of the board to identify a great new CEO,â said Gates. âWeâre fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties.â
There are no obvious candidates to succeed Ballmer at a company that has only had two CEOs in its 38-year history. Ballmer had once indicated that he intended to stay at least until 2017.
âThere is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,â Ballmer saidÂ in a statement.
The company needed a leader who could see through its reorganisation and new strategy, he added. âMy original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our companyâs transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.â
Ballmer has faced criticism from investors for years as rivals led by Apple Inc and Google Inc came to dominate huge new markets in smartphones, tablets, Internet search and cloud computing even as Microsoft remained reliant on the traditional personal computer.
Ballmer, 57, first met Microsoft founder Bill Gates in 1973 while they were living down a dormitory hall from each other at Harvard University.
He joined Microsoft in 1980 to bring some business discipline and salesmanship to a company that had just landed a contract to supply an operating system for a personal computer that IBM would release in 1981.
Ballmer did the job so well that he would become Gatesâ sounding board and succeed him as CEO in 2000.
When Ballmer took the helm in January 2000, the company was worth more than $601 billion.
Microsoft, which supplies the software running most PCs, lost almost half its value on Ballmerâs watch. The stock hasnât closed above $50 since his first year on the job amid competition from Google Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. in everything from tablets to the Web.