Steve Ballmer will still be one of the world's richest people after leaving Microsoft

In his memo to employees Friday announcing his plans to retire from Microsoft in the next 12 months, CEO Steve Ballmer said, "I cherish my Microsoft ownership, and look forward to continuing as one of Microsoft’s largest owners." Indeed, Ballmer owns quite a bit of stock in the company and it will make him a very rich man when he finally departs.

Microsoft does not offer any kind of severance pay to its executives when they leave (sometimes known as a "golden parachute"). However, Ballmer will still own 333 million Microsoft shares, or about four percent of the the company. CNN reports that those shares are currently worth $11.5 billion.

That amount makes Ballmer the 51st richest man in the world and the 22nd richest person in the US. Of course, that amount of money pales in comparison with Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates. He is currently the world's richest man at the moment with a net worth of $72.7 billion.

Ballmer's stake in Microsoft is worth 56 percent more since he took over as CEO in 2000. In fact, his net worth went up by $786 million just on Friday thanks to the stock market pushing the price of the company's shares up by over seven percent. Of course, the stock price went up because analysts somehow believe Ballmer's departure will ultimately be a good thing for Microsoft.

The big question: What will Ballmer do with all of that money? Will he give most of it away to charitable causes, as his good friend Gates is currently doing? Will he use it to invest in lots of tech ventures that ultimate fail, as Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has done?  In an interview with ZDNet.com on Friday, Ballmer claims he has no idea of what he plans to do next, saying that he won't have any time to think about that until Microsoft selects someone to replace him as CEO.

Source: CNN | Image via Microsoft

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Just like Apple's new CEO, Microsoft's CEO was no visionary. Both are good at certain things, business, running company, but both are no visionaries like Jobs and Gates once were.

I don't know if Ballmer deserves that. He's going to get it either way however, He hasn't brought MS forward or been a game changer.

Gates really did alot.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance," said Ballmer. "It's a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get."

He will always be remembered as a CEO who said this. And things turned out to be completely different. His failure to anticipate the rise of Smartphones and Tablets will always overshadow his accomplishments. The truth is, Microsoft can't afford to be late to the party any more.

Would be crazy. If Gates were to become CEO again the stock would probably skyrocket. He and Ballmer would make out like bandits with their Microsoft shares.

heatlesssun said,
Would be crazy. If Gates were to become CEO again the stock would probably skyrocket. He and Ballmer would make out like bandits with their Microsoft shares.

the thing is, im pretty sure gates is actively running the company behind the scenes. To a certain degree.

He does give sign-off on the high level stuff but I don't think that's Microsoft's biggest problem, it's execution and speed. I'm sure he's not going make himself CEO again but I think he could clean up the execution mistakes.

heatlesssun said,
He does give sign-off on the high level stuff but I don't think that's Microsoft's biggest problem, it's execution and speed. I'm sure he's not going make himself CEO again but I think he could clean up the execution mistakes.

True, Bill Gates could do allot of fixing. Im excited, and scared for the next CEO. Microsoft needs it badly, but at the same time who really can pull it off now that Paul Allen is gone - i liked him.

I really wish Bill Gates could return as CEO and Ballmer could take over running his charity. I'd much rather have someone talking in depth about something than someone running screaming and sweating.

Ha, yep. The company posts record profit after record profit, pays a fortune in dividends (who cares about floating investors looking to profit off rising share prices - look to Warren Buffet who's biggest advice has always been to invest in companies that pay healthy dividends and to invest for the long haul). Failure indeed hey?

Dot Matrix said,
Yeah, such a failure.
The man personally and financially isn't a failure. Some of his business decisions are questionable however.

Dot Matrix said,
Yeah, such a failure.

Even if they put a real monkey there MS will have record breaking profits pal. Do not put that on the account of Ballmer.

JHBrown said,
The man personally and financially isn't a failure. Some of his business decisions are questionable however.
No one can make the right decision every time. Even God's have failed at this.

As a CEO, you have to take some chances. The slow adoption of Surface for example, isn't because the product is bad, it is because the product was very late. If it had been release one year after the iPad which is when the first crappy Android tablets started popping up, the Surface would have been number 2 for a little while.

Same with Windows Phone, good ideas, presented late in the game.

Windows 8 isn't a failure. Vista wasn't a failure. It sold nearly 400M copies. Apple in their entire life haven't even sold 400M macs yet.

As someone stated, Ballmer and Company had record profits every single year, despite write-offs, product issues and product failures.

At least he didn't crash the company into the ground like HP and RIM's CEO's did.