Well one thing that can be said with reasonable assurance is that the snarky remarks against Steve Ballmer have all but stopped ever since he made his decision to retire official a few months back.

The outgoing CEO was criticized by many — users, analysts, market experts, shareholders, even some Microsoft partners. Critics, in this case, were not exactly pleased with the direction of the company, and believed it was time for a new face.

Anyway, Ballmer himself admitted that it was indeed time for a change.

But at the recent annual shareholder meeting (that Ballmer attended as CEO), he responded to criticism by pointing towards the company’s stock price, saying that Microsoft stock jumped 60 percent while he was at the helm of the software titan:

“Our stock price is 60 percent, maybe, of what it was when I took over as CEO. Profits are three times what they were when I took over as CEO. Now, I don’t know how to answer your question.

But what I do know is, if we continue to make the investments that lead to valuable products that people will pay for in a way that generates profit, the stock price responds to that.”

In other words, Ballmer claims that he laid the foundation for long term profitability, and the company is on the right trajectory for future growth.

When taking this in terms of numbers, Microsoft’s income in 1999 (the year before Ballmer took over from Bill Gates) was $7.8 billion. In 2013, however, the company reported figures of $21.8 billion, nearly a threefold increase.

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