back to article BILLION DOLLAR BALLMER: Microsoft chief makes $1bn simply by quitting

Steve Ballmer has just seen his personal wealth surge by a cool $1bn after announcing his retirement from Microsoft - which immediately caused the company's stock to soar close to a 12-month high on Wall Street. The software vendor, which trades on Nasdaq under the MSFT banner, saw its shares initially surge by close to 9 per …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now I understand...

    why he stuck around so long. He was waiting for the moment where everybody would feel relieved when he said goodbye -- and the stock price would soar. Cleverer than I thought, got to give him that.

  2. Redsyrup

    Here's hoping his replacement brings back TechNet.

  3. Zot


    The used car sales-man is finally leaving the building.

  4. mIRCat

    Your results may vary.

    I tried announcing my retirement, but it didn't have the same effect on my personal wealth.

    Then my boss told me to get back to work. Where's a pint when you need one?

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Your results may vary.

      Did you try throwing chairs or dancing? How about taking your company's leading products and ripping out the parts that everyone does want? Did you develop a new product and completely ignore all customer and partner input then spend $1B on marketing what everyone said was broken?

      If you didn't do any of those things then that's why you didn't get a big payout. Next time you'll know.

  5. Fihart

    the money is part of the problem

    When basically uncultured people like Ballmer luck out and get rich they assume it's due to their own brilliance and become autocrats. Were the same people reasonably comfortably off they would perhaps remain in touch with reality.

    Microsoft's conduct towards customers, other businesses and government shows that it has believed itself untouchable. Fortunately, they haven't been so lucky with their monopoly marketing approach once faced with serious competition from Sony, Apple, Google, Amazon. As they can't buy up and destroy those rivals Microsoft will have to change. From what I've read from ex-employees, the company culture is both destructive of initiative and unwieldy so it will take a radical change of leadership style to slowly turn the company from its seemingly disastrous course.

  6. Hubert Thrunge Jr.

    Bye Bye Ballsy

    So, he's gone. And the stock market like it (that says a lot!)

    Dear Nokia - read and learn.

    Sherlock because, well just because!

  7. Charles Manning

    Jumped or pushed???

    Who cares!

    However, as much as we hate Ballmer, it is unclear that a new boss will be able to improve things.

  8. IGnatius T Foobar

    Microsoft FAIL

    It's pretty obvious that this is all a setup for the triumphant return of Bill Gates as "interim CEO for life" -- in other words, blatantly copying Apple once again.

    Well, if Gates wants to be Jobs, here's hoping that Gates suffers the same end Jobs did.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Microsoft FAIL

      When Apple brought Jobs back they had to buy his company to do it. Even Microsoft couldn't afford to buy off Bill's current organization...

      Also, wishing death by wasting disease on someone is a right shitty thing to do, no matter how much you dislike his company's products.

  9. Mike Flugennock

    And, so, the stockholders retired to their offices...

    ...for the traditional celebratory monkey-dancing and furniture smashing.

  10. 0_Flybert_0

    meh .. not going to help MS value

    while i think it's a good deal to severe Ballmer with $1 billion .. doubt the stock price rise will last .. only good thing coming up for MS is the death of XP next year forcing business and real PC user hold outs to Win7

    there's the new Xbox too .. but that's likely a money loser for a couple of years

    there are two kinds of people .. salesmen and those that know right from wrong

    1. h3

      Re: meh .. not going to help MS value

      That new xbox will likely be profitable from the get go if you look at what is in it.

      (Follow on from bobcat - likely atom type cost - cheap middle of the line gpu 8gb ram 250GB disk - dunno about the kinect costs.)

      It won't have £450 worth of parts that is for sure.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whoever sanctioned W8 is...time-limited, let's say.

  12. Tree

    Can you trust them?

    Ballmer better watch out if he thinks his former employer can be trusted with his retirement. Microsoft could not be trusted with anything for years.

  13. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Nice one, Steve. Now you can lead invisibly from the shadows with pots of rewarding lucre

    Are they advertising for a new CEO or just presently looking around for one with the right stuff?

    And surely, any name out there which be already well known and supposedly in charge and drivering other businesses is not a new train brain to drain and lead MicroSoft fortunes into the future?

  14. Shane Kent

    wo wo wo, stupid...

    Out of date stuck in the 80s and early 90s OK, but stupid. I have wanted to see Steve gone for a while now, but never considered him stupid, and OK again by today's standards stupid. Steve you should have done this years ago your stock would be worth more than the amounts people are talking about on this site, combined! But stupid you are not, and if I had 1/100000000 of your $ to spare maybe then I could call you stupid.

    P.S. You fool you Steve, you should have done this year's ago, fool OK ;)

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      What, you don't even have $150 bucks ?

  15. Dom 3

    Better engineering in the SB era?

    Since BG took his hands off the tiller there have been signs that the engineering inside MS has improved. Whether SB should be given credit for this I do not know.

    99% of sane people agree that Modularity Is A Good Thing.

    BG famously argued "In the commercial world, it is hard to see what value such replace-ability [sic] would provide even if it could be achieved.":

    Of course, BG's point is that in the commercial world, modularity just allows competitors to sell better drop-in replacements. A point that was well-learned back when DR-DOS was about to take over as the OS of choice. Gates's response to *that* was the infamous AARD code:

    which created sufficient FUD that everybody bought MS-DOS to be on the safe side when installing Windows.

    However by the time of IIS7, Microsoft were (and are) promoting it as "built with a completely modular architecture, on top of rich extensibility APIs. This enables developers to easily add, remove and even replace built-in IIS7 components with hand-crafted ones"!

    Fast forward a few years, and I've been downloading some of the free VirtualBox VMs that Microsoft provides to allow cross-browser testing. The Windows 7 VMs weigh in at something over 4GB - this for a cut-down OS + browser, no more. But with Windows 8 they've got this down to a "mere" 2GB or so. This is still ridiculous, but it indicates that they have managed to modularise a great deal of the OS. (Equally clearly, they still have some way to go - a Firefox / Linux browser-only VM would be a small fraction of that size).

    The obvious conclusion then is that post-Gates, MS have started to apply sane engineering principles to their products. But this may not be good news for MS shareholders.

    Gates has, since leaving Microsoft, turned into - to my enormous surprise and slight discomfort, because I hold that his business practices held back the development of good software - something of a hero. Time will tell, but it is possible that his initiatives - and spending of hard cash - in tackling malaria in the third world will do more good than years of Western government aid.

    Other software squillionaires have also done Interesting Things with the money. Let's hope that SB does.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: Better engineering in the SB era?

      "Other software squillionaires have also done Interesting Things with the money. Let's hope that SB does."


      I anticipate the setting up of the Stephen Ballmer Benevolent Society for the Relief of Distressed Software Companie CEO's any day now.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Imagine how much Ballmer damaged the US Economy?

    If he can walk away with billions for doing such a terrible job at M$soft, imagine how much better the STate and the nation could be without this woos.

  17. auburnman

    Stephen Elop

    Will need to seriously up the timetable for the destruction of Nokia if he wants to get the big MS chair in the next 12 months.

  18. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    But what an *opportunity* for headhunters everywhere.

    I frankly have no idea if they will promote from within (whoevers floating in that pool) or bring in from outside but getting the contract to do so would be huge.

    I wonder what Dominic O'Connor's thoughts on it are?

  19. Armando 123

    I still say ...

    ... getting rid of Ballmer and replacing him with someone more competent would be worth a billion dollars to the shareholders. I've been saying this for a decade, about the time Longhorn slouched into XP. MS' competitors might be having an "oh crap" reaction to this.

    He always struck me as a phone company bellhead or a Xerox tonerhead. He couldn't think outside the box, partly because he wasn't really aware of the box in the first place.


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