Steve Ballmer to new grads: ‘I, too, don’t know what I’m doing’

“Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently delivered an enthusiastic commencement address at the University of Washington,” Laura Montini reports for Inc.

“Recent graduates of the University of Washington — and all of those who newly find themselves at a crossroad in their careers — likely took comfort hearing that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is in a similar position as well,” Montini reports. “‘I am 58 years old, and I, too, don’t know what I’m doing again,’ Ballmer said to applause Sunday during his University of Washington commencement speech.”

“Ballmer served as Microsoft’s CEO for 14 years before stepping down in February. Prior to his resignation, most commentators widely agreed that it was in due time. Microsoft’s stock value had tumbled over the course of 10 years, and the company had been struggling to chase Apple and Google for a large part of Ballmer’s tenure,” Montini reports. “Inc.’s Les McKeown concluded that it was Ballmer’s leadership style that had hindered his own success. ‘The sports-coach-as-leader model doesn’t work in business,’ McKeown stressed.”

Image (1) 081106_ballmer.jpg for post 30952Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, you’re in the exact same position as Steve Ballmer (except with hair and minus the $20 billion net worth).

Of course, that such a schlub could have amassed such a fortune does prove that America is the land of boundless opportunity! So, go get ’em, grads!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Daniel N.” for the heads up.]


  1. I think the phrase “don’t know what I’m doing” has entered balmers mind many, many times. Sadly for MS, this is the first time it’s managed to exit his mouth

      1. Yes, and only Ballmer is stupid enough to tell these kids that this is the best time in history to be graduating. REALLY? Obviously his billionaire status as allowed him not to be concerned with the economy or the job unemployment rates.

  2. Oh, and he had the best college dorm room assignment in history.
    Wonder where he’d be today without that chance draw? I doubt CEO or billionaire would have ever been part of his title.

  3. Steve (Jobs) had a similar issue when he was fired from Apple.

    “I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love…

    And so [Thank heavens] I decided to start over.”*

    Stanford University Commencement Address*† delivered by Steve Jobs,
    CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

    * TEXT:
    † VIDEO:

    1. It’s difficult to start anything with an empty head. Ballmer has always been all smoke and mirrors. Somehow Bill Gates just never saw that and kept promoting him.

    1. The Clippers will have to put up with him longer than the duration of the speech and its awful memories. I am glad I have memories of Carl Sagan at my commencement.

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