Teary Farewell for Gates

Microsoft CEO salutes founder, leaving after 33 years, for 'enormous opportunity'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2008 4:18 PM CDT
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, right, speaks to employees as CEO Steve Ballmer looks on, during a farewell event today celebrating Gates' 33 years at Microsoft.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Microsoft celebrated Bill Gates’ last day as a full-time employee today, the Seattle Times reports. More than 800 employees, family members and friends shared memories at the company’s corporate conference center in Redmond, Wash. CEO Steve Ballmer bid a tearful farewell to his longtime friend: "We've been given a enormous opportunity, and Bill gave us that opportunity," he told the audience.

"My life's work really is about software and working with incredible people," Gates said, also tearing up. "And I love working with smart people. I love working with Steve. I love working with all the incredible people here."