Gates Chokes Up at Ballmer's Shareholder Goodbye

Nov 19, 2013

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates choked up while reading from prepared remarks during Steve Ballmer's final shareholders meeting as chief executive.

The co-founder of the software giant said progress was being made to find Ballmer's replacement and he thanked him for serving as CEO for the last 13 years. Only Gates and Ballmer have led Microsoft Corp. since its founding 38 years ago. Ballmer announced in August that he’ll step down within the year. 

Gates grew emotional while saying that both he and Ballmer are committed to making sure "that the next CEO is the right person for the right time for the company we both love."

The two men have known each other since their days as students at Harvard in the 1970s and they’ve worked together for the past 33 years. 

Ballmer, for his part, avoided goodbyes. He touted progress the company has made in building up its consumer business. The company is trying to make up ground against Apple in the area of mobile computing.

The company, based in Redmond, Wash., says that all of its proposals, including the re-election of board nominees including Ballmer and Gates, have been approved.