Emotional Ballmer Talks About Leaving Microsoft

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer recently told the Wall Street Journal why he decided to step down. The main issue: it's time for change at Microsoft, and Ballmer's not sure he's the person to lead the charge.

Ballmer's announcement that he would leave the CEO position within twelve months' time came in August 2013.

"Maybe I'm an emblem of an old era, and I have to move on," Ballmer said in an emotional interview with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

"As much as I love everything about what I'm doing ... the best way for Microsoft to enter a new era is a new leader who will accelerate change."

Ballmer: "We Need to Break a Pattern"

Ballmer said he recognized that a change was necessary. "At the end of the day, we need to break a pattern," Ballmer told the WSJ. "Face it: I'm a pattern." (Source: wsj.com)

Ballmer also said that he had decided to leave the chief executive officer job all the way back in May 2013. It was a decision that Ballmer says left his entire family in tears.

Ballmer also said he was rushed to complete his restructuring of the firm, which the Redmond, Washington-based company revealed back in July 2013.

According to Ballmer, there was concern at Microsoft that his restructuring plan took too long to implement. (Source: pcworld.com)

Microsoft executive John Thompson supported this claim. Thompson told the Wall Street Journal that Microsoft "didn't push Steve to step down ... but we were pushing him damn hard to go faster."

Mulally, Elop Still Front-Runners for CEO Job

The WSJ says that Microsoft is planning to narrow its list of CEO candidates to between three and five names in a Monday, November 18 meeting. Experts still believe Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop will top that list.

Ballmer says he'll take a six-month vacation once a new Microsoft chief executive officer is named. Following that, Ballmer says he'll spend some time trying to figure our what he wants to do next.

What might that involve? Well, Steve Ballmer is only ruling out one option: running another major corporation.

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