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Bawling Ballmer bows out with a cry

30 Sep 2013

Dancing to Michael Jackson's Wanna Be Startin' Something', the departing Steve Ballmer declared the company "would change the world again."

In a tear fuelled farewell to the company he joined 33 years ago, the Microsoft CEO didn't disappoint when it came to extravagance.

Described as more like a "rock concert" by many of the 13,000 Redmond employees, Ballmer will retire within the next year, ensuring an emotional event in Seattle.

With tears streaming down his face, the 57-year-old spoke of his love for the company, his regrets and the future, as the company looks to claw back low ground within the smartphone market.

"I regret that there was a period in the early 2000s when we were so focused on what we had to do around Windows that we weren't able to redeploy talent to the new device called the phone," Ballmer told the audience.

"That is the thing I regret the most.

"It would have been better for Windows and our success in other foreign factors."

Yet in his typically bullish style, Ballmer urged employees to believe in the future of the company, insisting: "We have unbelievable potential in front of us, we have an unbelievable destiny.

"Only our company and a handful of others are poised to write the future.

"We're going to think big, we're going to bet big."

Leaving to the Dirty Dancing song "I've had the time of my life!", Ballmer did have time for one last dig at his rivals.

Branding Apple "fashionable", Amazon "cheap" and Google as "knowing more" but effectively doing less, Ballmer's farewell was met with rapturous applause.

It was vintage Ballmer - emotional, over the top and damn captivating.

Check out a clip from the speech below: