The Microsoft story is never complete without a mention of the friendship that co-founder Bill Gates enjoyed with recently retired CEO Steve Ballmer over the decades.
It never is.
However, there has been no shortage of rumors that both men have floated apart over the past few years. Some even pinned this as the reason why Gates distanced himself from Microsoft, and reports of tiffs and spats between the two have been abound.
Sure, Bill Gates is now back at Redmond in a much more involved capacity. He’s now helping the new CEO Satya Nadella in decision making — but that only happened after Ballmer parted away from the software titan. Gradually.
Now Ballmer has commented on his relationship with Gates.
The former CEO, was invited by CBS This Morning to talk about his basketball adventure, what with his recent purchase of the LA Clippers. And he was asked about his relationship with Bill Gates.
Brace for the answer, because it’s a little unexpected.
Ballmer sort of confirmed his rifts with Bill Gates, saying he no longer enjoys a close association with the company co-founder. But also that they’ve done this before:
“We’ve dusted-up many times in our lives. That kind of stuff happens. We’ve done that before.”
That’s what friends are for, right?
Steve Ballmer spent 34 years at Microsoft, 14 of those at the very top, as the CEO of the company. And it is not uncommon to see these kind of issues develop between, what are two very contrasting personalities. He still continues to be the biggest holder of Redmond stocks.
But this much is clear, that his involvement with how Microsoft functions is very limited right now.