Steve Ballmer's last letter to shareholders marks the end of an era
In the CEO's annual letter to shareholders, Steve Ballmer writes how Microsoft has changed the world. The letter, which will be Ballmer's last, has a reflective tone as he looks back over Microsoft's achievements while he was at the helm. He explains the reasoning behind some of the changes that were made at Microsoft over the last year including the restructuring that has taken place, but also looks forward.
The "last shareholder letter I will write as the CEO of the company I love" is studded with personal references, starting off with a heartfelt explanation for why he loves his role: "We have always believed that technology will unleash human potential and that is why I have come to work every day with a heart full of passion for more than 30 years".
Ballmer recognizes that while Microsoft has managed to increase revenue and has earned shareholders a healthy income, there have also been challenges -- these are reflected in the financial figures. Moving forward, Microsoft will be about "delivering better devices and services more quickly". The letter reaffirms Microsoft's desire to succeed in the home and in the office and states that the company's goal going forward will be to "…create a family of devices and services for individuals and businesses that empower people around the globe at home, at work and on the go, for the activities they value most".
Ballmer refers to the structural changes to Microsoft as "deceptively simple but profoundly powerful" and expresses excitement about what the company will continue to deliver; Windows 8.1, Surface 2 and Xbox One get special mentions.
The letter, dated September 27, ends in a very upbeat mood: "We have seen incredible results in the past decade -- delivering more than $200 billion in operating profit. I’m optimistic not only as the CEO but as an investor who treasures his Microsoft stock. Working at Microsoft has been a thrilling experience -- we’ve changed the world and delivered record-setting success -- and I know our best days are still ahead. Thank you for your support".