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Gates', Ballmer's e-mails to employees

In e-mails to Microsoft employees, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer shared some of their thoughts on the leadership changes.

In e-mails to Microsoft employees, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer shared some of their thoughts on the leadership changes at the software giant after more than three decades. The following are excerpts from that e-mail.

Bill Gates' message to employees
Six years ago, Steve and I made a major transition when he stepped up to be CEO. He?s done a fantastic job by every measure, whether it?s the people he?s brought in, the new ways he?s running the company, or just the objective results ? like doubling our revenue in six years.


Obviously, this has been a very hard decision for me. Microsoft will always be a huge part of my life, and I'm lucky to have two callings that are so important and so challenging.

On a personal note, I know that my work on global health and education issues at the Foundation would never have been possible without the enormous success of Microsoft, so I want to thank you and all of the employees past and present who have contributed so much to this company.

For these last 31 years, I've had the best job in the world. I've worked with some of the brightest and most passionate people in the world. Together, we've built a great company whose products have empowered people around the world.

Steve Ballmer's message to employees
Bill and I have talked over the years about scaling the company?s leadership and about succession planning. Our efforts to expand the company?s leadership and delegate more authority to meet the challenges of our expanded scope of innovation are well underway. At the same time, we agreed that when the time came for Bill to reduce his time at the company, we would announce it far enough in advance to ensure a smooth transition, giving him time to work side by side with new leaders. Bill and I are confident this plan will ensure Microsoft?s future and build from the steps we have already taken.

You can't replace everything that Bill brings to this company with a single person, but Bill and I are confident we've assembled a great team that can step up and drive Microsoft innovation forward without missing a beat.