Bill Gates held back tears saying goodbye to Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO

Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman, spoke about the significance of Steve Ballmer leaving the company as it searches for a new CEO. While talking he visibly held back tears when discussing the company he started and clearly still loves.

“It’s a complex role to fill,” said Gates, before going on to say that candidates were being searched for both internally and externally. He didn’t go into any specifics but simply said it was a tough role that requires a candidate that is comfortably running a company like Microsoft.

Gates then went on to thank Ballmer for his work at the company. "I want to say thanks for the leadership over the last 13 years," said Gates. "It’s a real privilege to lead the incredibly talented group of employees we have.”

Pausing to clear his throat he continued: “We’ve got a commitment to make sure the next CEO is the right person for the right time for the company we both love," said Gates, before choking up and holding back tears. "We share a commitment that Microsoft will succeed as a company that makes the world a better place."

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