Ballmer hinted in the memo for his abrupt leaving announcement, and in subsequent interviews, that the timing for his exit wasn't his choice. Asked if it was a sudden decision in an interview with ZDNet, Ballmer said: "I would say for me, yeah, I've thought about it for a long time, but the timing became more clear to me over the course of the last few months."
Picking (I've Had) The Time of My Life as his sign-off song, Ballmer choked back the tears to tell the equally emotional audience, "Microsoft is like a fourth child for me. Children leave the home, but I guess in this case I'm leaving the home."
His emotional reaction and speech again suggest that Ballmer's Microsoft exit isn't of his own volition, although this isn't the first time Ballmer has had emotional outpourings on stage.