Steve Ballmer writes his final shareholder letter as CEO of Microsoft

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced his plans to retire from the company in the next 12 months in August and recently gave a tearful "Good-bye" speech to thousands of Microsoft employees at their annual meeting. Today, Microsoft issued its annual financial report for its recently completed 2013 fiscal year and it included a new, and final, message to shareholders from Ballmer.

The letter begins with Ballmer acknowledging his upcoming departure as CEO, adding, "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." He ends the letter by saying:

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.

In between those quotes, Ballmer gets serious about Microsoft's current and future strategy to turn itself into a "devices and services" company. He adds that the company is "well underway" with its "One Microsoft" reorganization that it first announced in July. saying that the company is now grouped by function "including, for example, engineering, sales, marketing and finance" rather than by products. Ballmer also mentioned the recent deal to acquire Nokia's Devices and Services business, saying, "It will accelerate our growth with Windows Phone while strengthening our overall device ecosystem and our opportunity."

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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Ballmer left out a part. "We have seen incredible results in the past decade - By copying Apple and trying to duplicate everything they did, since they are the innovators and we just copy and steal with no ideas of our own, This has worked out really well since our Lemmings, err customers are not that bright and can't tell the difference - delivering more than $200 billion in operating profit."

That is more like it.

With all due respect - Didn't everyone used to think Ballmer was a nut? I feel like with or without Ballmer Microsoft was set up to succeed.

With all due respect - nobody with any common sense believed that "a nut" would be running one of the most important tech companies in the world. The only people who believed he was "a nut" were those who parroted the crap they hear online without knowing a damned thing.

Thats not true I've seen many reports that have ranked the top ceo and never at the top.
It might been ok CEO but never at the top.

Since when did massive enthusiasm for their own job and the company they're working with turn into "being a nut"? The guy loves what he does, and he's not ashamed for a millisecond to make it known.

Hell, if only a percentage point or two of the people in today's world had that kind of enthusiasm FOR ANYTHING it could change everything for everyone. But no, we end up with most everyone hating their jobs, and that just translates into more crap the rest of us have to put up with when it comes to dealing with those people, which makes us feel worse, and that gets passed on and on...

I'd rather have a company leader that runs around screaming his head off because he's excited and enthusiastic about the people and the company he's working with than have one that runs around screaming his head off because he doesn't have the talent to create stuff himself and basically browbeats it out of every employee that crosses his path - and yes I'm referring to Steve Jobs, like it or not. Having first-hand experience and face-to-face time in the past with Jobs, I'd take Ballmer any day and twice on Sunday over him again.

I read the letter, it simply read "Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye! Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye , goodbye , goodbye! Yes!"