A Look Back In Ballmer

Yesterday, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer exited the company’s board. It marked the end of an era for the software company, and showed, simply, how much the technology industry has changed since Ballmer first took the reins at Microsoft more than a decade ago.

For a look back, I’ve compiled a number of important events and dates from Ballmer’s time at Microsoft, up through the last few weeks. And yes, I threw in a few YouTube clips, because when it comes to Ballmer on video, who can ever have enough?

Let’s go.

Ballmer's Entrance, And Exit

A Ballmer Highlight Reel

A short riff through a number of Ballmer’s greatest hits.

1980: Ballmer Joins Microsoft

Ballmer was employee No. 30 when he was hired. He would exit the company 34 years later as its largest individual shareholder.

Get On My Level

2000: Ballmer Promoted To CEO

A full 20 years after he was hired, and two years after he was promoted to president, Ballmer takes on the CEO role. Founder Bill Gates remains active at the firm.

iPhone, Ha Ha Ha

2006: Gates Steps Down From His Day-To-Day Role

Ballmer, a leading executive for decades at the company, picked up even more internal power.

2009: Microsoft and Yahoo Sign Search Deal

Yahoo would later chafe under the terms of the deal, but the agreement secured Microsoft a stronger market position in search. IMAGE BY FLICKR USER YAHOO UNDER CC BY 2.0 LICENSE (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)  

TechCrunch Talks To Ballmer

Ballmer breaks down how his company talks to Silicon Valley VCs about their portfolio companies.

2012: Ballmer Introduces The Surface

The Surface project, a massive undertaking for the software company, was first introduced by Ballmer. Then Microsoft employee Steven Sinofsky took to the stage. The Surface project has been a large, controversial, and improving project.

Image via Microsoft keynote, hosted by VentureBeat.

Cloud And Subscription Bets Pay Off

As Ballmer’s career at Microsoft started to close, a number of large wagers began to cross the $1 billion revenue threshold. Products like Lync, Office, and Azure showed that Microsoft could still create new income streams, and that it could replace declining Windows top line. Those same products have continued quick growth since his exit from the company.



2013: Ballmer Announces He Will Retire Within 12 Months

The end quickly became nigh. Ballmer’s announcement, and his planned exit timing, surprised many. IMAGE BY FLICKR USER MICROSOFT SWEDEN UNDER CC BY 2.0 LICENSE (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)  

2014: Nadella Takes Over

Technologist and long-time Microsoft employee Satya Nadella took over for Ballmer. Ballmer remained on the company’s board.

2014: Ballmer Buys The Clippers

$2 billion lighter, Ballmer picked up his very own sports franchise. It will remain in California. IMAGE BY FLICKR USER IMAGINECUP UNDER CC BY 2.0 LICENSE (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)  

Ballmer Steps Down From The Board

The end of a long career.