Feeds

BOOGIE BALLMER: Steve Dirty Dances at tearful Microsoft leaving do

Nobody puts outgoing Steve in the corner

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A tearful Steve Ballmer bid official farewell to thousands of Microsofties at a stadium bash with a booming sound track.

Shy and (literally) retiring CEO Ballmer hosted the software giant's annual staff meeting at Seattle’s KeyArena yesterday, attended by 13,000 employees. This is the last mass gathering for Ballmer and his troops after the big man announced his retirement as chief executive in August.

During an hour-long talk to the emotionally charged masses, Ballmer promised them “we will deliver the next big thing … we will change the world again”.

“We have unbelievable potential in front of us, we have an unbelievable destiny," said a visibly moved Ballmer, reusing a quote from the very first Microsoft staff meeting in 1983.

"Only our company and a handful of others are poised to write the future," he continued. "We're going to think big, we're going to bet big," he is reported to have said.

He wisecracked about rivals he either failed to anticipate or beat, and whose success helped shove him towards the exit door.

Ballmer dismissed Apple as being “fashionable”, Amazon for being “cheap”, and Google for “knowing more” whereas Microsoft is about “doing more”.

But, as ever, it was Ballmer’s moves rather than his words that delighted. The CEO who gave us the Monkey Boy dance is reported to have jumped about the stage to Michael Jackson’s Wanna be startin’ somethin’ – the song he played at that fateful 1983 meeting – while screaming “the sound of Microsoft!”

Reports talk of tears streaming down Steve's face as he gave his final speech.

Ballmer closed on (I’ve had) the time of my life from Dirty Dancing, continuing to dance and run around the stage. Employees were shaking hands with Ballmer and screaming “we love you” through the routine, we're so reliably informed.

As the event finished, the question of who will succeed the chair-flinging CEO was once again in the headlines. The reason is that one report claimed that Ford CEO Alan Mulally is now in line to the throne. Other candidates are believed to include ex-Microsoft group president and soon-to-be-ex-Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop, currently fighting a rearguard action over the size of his package upon leaving the Finnish mobe-maker.

Company chairman Bill Gates, meanwhile, has denied he’s interested in the role. The billionaire software baron is actually one of the three members of a special committee tasked with selecting the new CEO.

We invite Reg readers to submit their own suggestions for suitable songs on Ballmer's time at Microsoft and on his exit in the comments section. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.