Steve Ballmer Talks At Oxford University

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Steve Ballmer joined his old college friend Dean Peter Tufano at the Saïd Business School for a question and answer session.  This is among Steve Ballmer’s first public appearances since Satya Nadella was named CEO of Microsoft and Ballmer officially retired.

The relatively informal question and answer session deals very little with the future of Microsoft and mostly discusses higher level business inquiries such as innovation, failure, and management.  Personally I really miss Steve Ballmer, nobody had the energy & passion he had for the company and it’s quite apparent after watching this q&a session.

(Talk starts at around 5:30)

A few choice quotes from the talk that were tweeted by a senior Verge reporter:

  1. Ballmer answers question on what he’d want on his grave stone once he’s dead. “He was a great father and a great husband.”
  2. Ballmer says the number one best thing about being rich is “I can play just about any golf course I want on the planet.”
  3. “I own 4 percent of Microsoft, I care a lot about my child and my investment.” – Steve Ballmer
  4. “I am not an engineer. I have never written a line of production code in my life.” – Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO.
Ballmer also talked about regretting not being a having a bigger presence in the mobile market, but stated Microsoft would not give up.  He also said that the toughest decisions he had to make always came down to firing or hiring someone. Ballmer also discussed about the importance of “price” and having a clear business strategy along with understanding  accounting and & financing.
Near the end of the talk Ballmer stated over the past month he has spent much time golfing and has not yet decided what his future retirement plans are.


About Author

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • SategB

    Ballmer offering his insights on diet and exercise would have been equally worth the students time.

    • Tips_y

      LOL very funny! Tell me when YOU are already worth $19B and make it to #36 in Forbes list of billionaires, like Ballmer, and I’d be interested to listen to your talk on any topic.

      • SategB

        Wisdom seldom is gained from money, and even less likely is money gained from wisdom.

        You can trust you will gain more insight on living a quality life from the penny less Dalai Lama then the gluttonous Steve Ballmer.

        I wish you well.

        • whatup12

          That said, the students have a lot to learn from both positive and negative examples of leadership. And indeed, we all tend to exhibit both throughout our careers. But to listen to a man who ran one of the largest tech entities in the world talk about successes and failures seems like a good use of time to me.