Microsoft CEO bids emotional farewell to "Dirty Dancing" theme

Steve Ballmer, as seen in this still from the online news magazine The Verge.
The Verge

(CBS News) Microsoft's chief executive officer Steve Ballmer steps down next year. But last week, Ballmer took the time to say goodbye to thousands of employees at his final company meeting, singing a song he said was perfect for the occasion: "I've had the Time of My Life," popularized by the movie "Dirty Dancing."

Ballmer announced back in August that he would be stepping down after serving as CEO for 13 years. His departure comes as the company prepares to re-invent itself. Ballmer said at his emotional farewell, "It's my whole professional world. Microsoft is like a fourth child to me."

Ballmer said goodbye last Thursday to the company he's worked at for 33 years.

Video -- obtained by online news magazine the Verge -- showed nearly 13,000 employees packed inside a Seattle arena for the passionate speech. Ballmer said at the event, "Soak it in! You work for the greatest company in the world!"

The 57-year-old is credited with helping Bill Gates turn Microsoft from a tiny start-up into what was once the world's most valuable company. But he soon became known more for his zany personality than his ground-breaking innovations.

Nilay Patel, managing editor of Verge, said, "The consumer market is about radical change. It's about making people's lives different and Microsoft has never been quite so good at anticipating where those changes come from, and how to execute on those changes."

Critics say one of Ballmer's greatest blunders was dismissing Apple's iPhone when it was introduced six years ago. Ballmer said at the time, "Five hundred dollars! Fully subsidized with a plan. I said, that is the most expensive phone in the world, and it doesn't appeal to business customers."

But by 2012, the iPhone was generating more revenue than Microsoft's entire company. Meanwhile, since Ballmer took the reins from Gates, the software maker has seen its value plummet 55 percent. In that time, its share price has fallen from around $58 to just over $33.

Patel said, "The Microsoft name and particularly the Windows brand name are -- they're sold of old, they're sort of tainted. I think if Microsoft would just give itself that fresh start, reintroduce its products and its brands to consumers, it would actually go a long to showing how good the products are."

Watch Ballmer's emotional farewell below.

Ballmer is still leading Microsoft while the company searches for its future CEO, CBS News' Don Dahler reported on "CBS This Morning." Ballmer is expected to step down as soon as a suitable replacement is found.