Feeds

Gates chokes up, WEEPS to Microsoft shareholders amid talk of CEO hunt

First Ballmer, now Bill. Who isn't getting tearful at Redmond?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Bill Gates today delivered an emotional speech to the Microsoft shareholders, choking up as he described his history with the company and the search for a successor for his friend Steve Ballmer.

"We've got a commitment to see that the next CEO is the right person, for the right time, for the company we both love," said Gates, with a trembling voice and much throat clearing. "We share a commitment that Microsoft will succeed as a company that makes the world a better place."

Microsoft was unusual, Gates said, in that the company has only had two CEOs in its 38-year history. He said he was pleased with progress so far, but didn't give any indications as to who Ballmer's successor will be – shy and retiring Ballmer is due to step down as Microsoft chief exec next year.

Gates said that ideally the board were looking for someone with experience in leading a technological organization. Microsoft is still scratching the surface of what could be done with computing he asserted.

It's obviously an emotional time for the company. Last week Steve Ballmer gave a tear-streaked interview in which he too got an attack of the sniffles, while recounting that he might have been a problem for Microsoft as the firm seeks to reinvent itself from its desktop roots.

At Tuesday's meeting, Ballmer told shareholders that he was still a major stockholder in the company and would be hanging onto his shares after he stepped down. Microsoft will benefit from the takeover of Nokia, he added, and would offer a range of devices that will ensure the company's long-term success.

"We are focusing on a family of high-value activities," he said, Marketwatch reports. "The questions we ask ourselves are what do people really need. Everybody who works has a real need to be productive."

As the Microsoft meeting was in progress, Nokia announced that its shareholders had voted to accept Redmond's bid for the firm by a margin of 99 per cent. This also frees up Nokia boss Stephen Elop to seek a new position – filling Ballmer's shoes perhaps? ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'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.