But for all his showmanship, Ballmer wasn't much of a hit on Wall Street, where Microsoft's shares have fallen about 43% during his 13-year reign at the top.
Compare that with Apple, whose stock has soared 1,759% during the same period. Or Google, which has seen shares climb 707% since the company went public in 2004.
Microsoft announced Friday that Ballmer will step down as CEO in the next 12 months, a surprise move and one that underscores the continued troubles Microsoft is facing.
Shares of the company were up 7% at 10:30 a.m. PDT.