Steve Ballmer Talks About His Retirement Plans, Biggest Disappointment At Microsoft And More

Steve Ballmer

Microsoft CEO today revealed his plans to retire from Microsoft within 12 months from now. Steve wrote a letter to all the employees of Microsoft, read it here. In an interview to Seattle Times, Steve spoke on few things that are interesting.

  • On why he retired before his youngest son went to college – “so we have a successor in place so we can lead a multi-year journey, or  I would have to sign up long enough so I don’t leave mid-stream.”
  • His biggest accomplishment – “giving birth to the notion that people are going to use intelligent devices for their own personal usage.” “When I joined Microsoft, my parents asked me two questions,” he said. “My dad asked: ‘What’s software?’ My mom asked me: ‘Why would a personal ever need a computer?’” Microsoft played “an incredible role in making personal intelligent devices happen,” while also returning profits and cash to its shareholders, he said.
  • His biggest disappointment at Microsoft – What we did was take a very talented group of engineers and tied them up for a long period only to ship a product that was a net step back, not a step forward,” Ballmer said. “We had people tied up working on something that didn’t matter when they could’ve been working on defining the future.That was, to me, the biggest mistake. You can’t let your development team work on the wrong stuff.”“I’d write Longhorn down as my single biggest disappointment,” he said, adding that “some of our challenges today” stem from those years.
  • On his retirement plans – “I knew I always wanted one more chapter of my life,” he said. “I think anyone who knows me knows I’m all consumed by my family and Microsoft. Other than playing golf now and then, I don’t have other passions. Maybe that’s why I say I want another chapter in my life — to experience something other than those two things.”

Read more at Seattle Times.

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