Monday, August 26, 2013

Bye Bye Ballmer

Signing off from Seattle
Steve Ballmer, current CEO of Microsoft, has recently announced his retirement and will be winding down his tenure this year. When this finally happens sometime in the next twelve months, the holy trinity of Seattle's tech-lords will witness the loss of its last remaining member and the end of a hugely important geek-era. While the company was co-founded by computer dorks Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, fellow Harvardian and apparent arithmetic genius Steve Ballmer (he scored 800 on the math portion of his SAT and beat Gates's score on an exam given by the Mathematical Association of America) joined his old collegiate buddies at the company in 1980 where his business acumen and wacky, non-tech attitude helped rocket the company to its now legendary status and, of course, its mountains and mountains of riches. Allen left Microsoft back in 2000 and Gates later in 2008, leaving the door open for Ballmer to step in as CEO of the company. However almost since the day he took over, industry pundits have been regularly casting doubts on his ability to lead the company into a new world and new generation that's more interested in tablets and set-top boxes than notebooks and desktop boxes. While the rumors are currently running rampant about whether or not Steve's announcement was voluntary or if he was ousted by the board, one thing's for sure, there's never been a tech-industry magnate quite like him before, and I doubt that there ever will be again.

A rare shot of the uber-nerd triumvirate (from left): Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates and Paul Allen