Steve Ballmer today announced that within a year he will retire from his role as CEO of Microsoft. And we won’t be forgetting him any time soon.
A man of almost pathological enthusiasm and the stage presence of an irate rhino, he has become a minor YouTube sensation thanks to this array of frankly bizarre appearance and quotes. Here are a few of our personal favourites
Steve slags off the iPhone
Ballmer was never going to give the iPhone too much praise, but his words following its launch in 2007 now appear hilarious. He dubs the iPhone the ‘most expensive’ phone ever, and appears to think a phone without a keyboard can’t be any use as an email device. Microsoft now commands just three per cent of the phone market. Oh, Steve.
Steve’s on-stage nervous breakdown
Almost certainly the most-watched video featuring Microsoft’s CEO is Ballmer’s entrance to a Microsoft BUILD conference. You might think that a middle-aged, overwight head of a global tech giant wouldn’t dance around a stage, whooping like an overexcited teenager who’s just scored a goal. But you’d be wrong.
Windows 1.0 Promo
From scary to terrifying, in Steve Ballmer’s promotional video for Windows 1.0 it feels as though he’s about to reach through the screen and strangle you. This was way back around 1985, a full 15 years before he became Microsoft’s CEO. With moves like this in evidence from his early days, you do have to wonder sometimes how he got there.
Steve’s second on-stage meltdown
Once wasn’t enough. Steve went a bit ‘angry sports coach’ on us again on-stage at a Microsoft conference in 2009. At points it looks like Steve’s ready to punch through a wall, or perhaps the poor interviewer’s face.
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Steve threatens to kill Google
Not all of Ballmer’s questionable antics are caught on video. The man’s unnerving presence comes across even in newsprint. After hearing that one of his colleagues was to move to Google, Ballmer reportedly lost the plot, chucked a chair across the room and exclaimed of Google’s Eric Schmidt, “I’m going to f—ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again… I’m going to f—ing kill Google.” To this day, Ballmer says he’s never thrown a chair across a room.