As you’re undoubtably aware, Bill Gates is set to retire on June 27th at the ripe old age of 52. Bill’s Harvard bud, Mr. Dancin’ Steve Ballmer, also 52 and a notable fan of the developers, has been itching to take over since his appointment as CEO back in 2000. Speaking at an event on Tuesday, we now know that he intends to remain in command, “for another nine or 10 years… until my last kid goes away to college.” Still, as easy-going as the relationship appeared at D, the transition was forged in fire. In fact, the power conflict was reportedly so severe, according to the Wall Street Journal, that it “paralyzed business strategy decision that the company still wrestles with today.” The tension at least once unravelled into a public shouting match (no really, from Ballmer?) between the two. The struggle was apparently resolved in 2001 when Bill finally accepted that he was number 2, “I had to change,” says Gates. Keep in mind that Bill will continue “working” for Microsoft one day a week and serve as the chairman of the board after his so-called retirement. And with Ballmer packing up Gates with a parting quote like, “I’m not going to need him for anything. That’s the principle. Use him, yes, need him, no,” well, let’s just say things don’t seem 100% resolved.
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