Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer took his farewell bow before thousands of applauding employees on Thursday with a typically loud and emotional performance at his last companywide meeting, talking up the software giant's prospects and taking swipes at rivals.
The CEO, whose screeching and dancing at company events is the stuff of YouTube legend, stormed the stage to "Can't Hold Us" by Seattle rap/producer duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and kept up his usual high tempo, according to several people present at the employee-only meeting.
He departed to the strains of Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," the song played at Microsoft's first employee meeting in 1983, followed by "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" from the finale of "Dirty Dancing," getting a standing ovation from the 13,000 or so Microsoft full-time employees in attendance.
"We have unbelievable potential in front of us, we have an unbelievable destiny," said a visibly moved Ballmer, reusing a quote from the 1983 meeting. "Only our company and a handful of others are poised to write the future," he continued. "We're going to think big, we're going to bet big."