Real Men *Do* Cry: Steve Ballmer’s Tearful Exit Speech Reveals his True Feelings

Business Speak

ballmer2 webYou could say that some men are “in touch with their feminine sides,” but stereotypically it wouldn’t be something that you’d often see

from a world leader, high-profile athlete or a mega-CEO like say, Donald Trump, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos or Apple CEO Tim Cook. However, outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is another story…Ballmer not only showed his raw emotions, breaking down during his exit speech earlier this week—he showed his true emotions center stage at Seattle’s Key Arena in front of his 13,000 employees.

During the tear-filled emotional speech, Ballmer, who anounced in late August that he was stepping down from his post, showed his sensitive side, likening Microsoft to his “fourth child,” and at one point stating of his departure that “children grow up and eventually leave the house, and I guess this time though it’s my turn to leave.”

Amid cheers and shouts of: “We Love You,” Ballmer shouts during one portion of this video clip here to the arena of 13,000 to “Soak it in all of you. You work for the greatest company in the world. And I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Before departing the stage, which resembled the set of a popular concert, rather than a CEO exit speech, Ballmer got even more sentimental, letting the crowd in on a secret: one of his favorite songs of all time, which he’d always wanted to use after a speech, but it was always deemed “inappropriate”. Several audience members were heard chuckling to which Ballmer responded: “No, not that kind of inappropriate!”
The song he chose to close out his exit from Microsoft (and the stage) was the theme song from the cult classic 80s movie Dirty Dancing, “I’ve Had the Time of my Life.” I think the last time I heard this song was when the DJ played it at the end of my wedding two years ago, and nonetheless, it is quite an emotional tune.

The song, Ballmer said, truly depicted how he has felt during his time as leader of tech industry giant Microsoft, and how he also has felt about the people that are employed by the company.

For more on Ballmer’s exit video, and to view a clip of his emotional speech, click here.