Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made $1 billion quitting. The perennially embattled software boss said this morning he would retire within the next 12 months. At the market open, his 333.252 million shares were up 10% as investors cheered the end of the Ballmer era, a period in which the company returned more than $150 billion to shareholders and grew through the post-dotcom recession and the credit bubble collapse, yet utterly failed to get credit for anything. As my colleague Steve Schaefer reports, Microsoft shareholders have had a negative total return of nearly 17.6%, with the stock down 36%, according to data from FactSet, since the day Ballmer took over as CEO in January 2000. And that’s despite around $80 billion in dividends paid. His net worth now stands at $17.2 billion, up 13% since the March 2013 Billionaires List.
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