Steven Ballmer got a new title today at Microsoft Corporation: the executive vice-president of sales and support, long recognised as the right-hand man of chief Bill Gates, is now president of the company.
Giving Ballmer more control of Microsoft's day-to-day business will enable Gates to spend more time working with product groups, Gates said during a press conference.
"I really want to get in there and work with the developers," Gates said, noting that he will take a more hands-on role in developing technologies and products. Ballmer will in turn take on a more visible public role.
"It gives me an incentive to beat the drum louder" in promoting Microsoft, Ballmer said, adding that he will focus more on "customer satisfaction and customer delight".
Gates denied that today's news has anything to do with the increased time he has had to spend on legislative and legal issues and with a desire to turn more of those duties over to Ballmer. He has never spent an appreciable amount of time on those matters, Gates said.