I am proud of what we have achieved. We have grown from $7.5 million to nearly $78 billion since I joined Microsoft, and we have grown from employing just over 30 people to almost 100,000. I feel good about playing a role in that success and having committed 100 percent emotionally all the way. We have more than 1 billion users and earn a great profit for our shareholders. We have delivered more profit and cash return to shareholders than virtually any other company in history.
And he's continued that trend of profitability even with his retirement notice. Microsoft's stock is up more than 7 percent on news of his leaving.
Thanks for the memories, Steve--and for Windows XP, Windows 7, the continued awesomeness that is Office, the Xbox, and heck, even the Ribbon interface. (I love it!) I'll give Ballmer the last word, via his goodbye note.
This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the company I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most.
Updated 10:50 A.M. E.T. with quote from Patrick Moorhead.
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