Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer announced his retirement from the company just weeks ago, but the executive has had time to say a long goodbye to those at the company. Earlier today the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) executive said goodbye to employees at the last ever annual employee meeting he will lead.
Ballmer has been at the head of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) since the year 2000, and he’s been at the company since it was founded 33 years ago. He announced last August that he would be resigning from the company in the twelve months that followed, and would be immediately replaced by a successor.
Today’s event saw Ballmer stand in front of a 13,000 strong audience at the Key Arena in Seattle and tell the employees of the company that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) would “change the world again”. Staff that attended the meeting shared pictures videos and text about what occurred at the event.
According to BBC, Steve Ballmer danced to Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ at the meeting and was played out to Time of My Life from the movie Dirty Dancing. According to those on social media the Seattle auditorium, which normally hosts basketball and hockey, was full to the brim and queues ran out the door.
According to the BBC Mr. Ballmer had tears streaming down his face as he bid goodbye to the employees of the company he has led for so long. The next annual employee meeting will take place around this time next year, and it is unlikely that Ballmer will be at the head of the company then. No successor has been floated just yet, but several candidates have made themselves known.
The most enduring succession rumor is that Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) CEO Steven Elop will become the new CEO at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) when he joins the company in the coming months. Elop will leave Nokia when the company’s handset division becomes part of Microsoft after that deal is approved.
Whether or not it is Elop that ultimately takes the stage, Steve Ballmer is going to be out in the cold at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) his reign at the company has been a controversial one, but he loved the company and did what he though was right to make it succeed.