After having a long run with the most dominant force in the Operating Systems market, Steve Ballmer is leaving the board of Directors of Microsoft, which essentially ends his relationship with the company. The ex-CEO of Microsoft was with the company for more than three decades and has played various roles during his long stay. Ballmer had been associated with Microsoft ever since its beginning, but recently has been spending most of his time with the Clippers, in civic contribution, teaching and studying. He sent his ‘departure letter‘ to Satya Nadella, the current Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, yesterday.
I have never been a Microsoft fan, or of the people associated with Microsoft, but I still feel a little awkward about Ballmer’s departure. The guy was one of the originals and a reminder to Microsoft about their ‘humble’ beginnings. Regardless of my personal opinion, he will be missed.
Ballmer spent most of the last three decades at Microsoft where he became the first business manager hired by Bill Gates. In his letter to Nadella, he says he’s become very busy ever since he stepped down from the post of the CEO six months ago.
‘I bleed Microsoft — have for 34 years and I always will. I continue to love discussing the company’s future. I love trying new products and sending feedback. I love reading about what is going on at the company. Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing’, his letter adds.
Nadella, in his reply, thanked the old Microsoftie for his insights and leadership, and for the support he provided Nadella during his ‘transition’ this year.
Ballmer has played many roles in Microsoft, ranging from heading operations, operating systems development, and sales and support. He was made Executive Vice President, Sales and Support in 1992, and was promoted to the President of Microsoft in 1998.
His tenure as the CEO saw a number of new business methodologies by Microsoft such as going out of the niche of PC business, acquiring Skype, going to the Cloud, and the development of the company’s gaming console business.
Microsoft doesn’t have any more poster boys left who are actively involved in the day to day operations. They need a face, which they don’t have. Having a face for your company in today’s Silicon Valley and other ‘similar areas’ of the world is important. You just can’t be a faceless corporate entity and expect to sell products anymore. Or can you?