Outgoing Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer has admitted that the company will be better off without him, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In a series of interviews with the publication, he admitted that his leadership symbolises "an old era" that needs to be forgotten in the future.
"Maybe I'm an emblem of an old era, and I have to move on," he said. "As much as I love everything about what I'm doing... the best way for Microsoft to enter a new era is a new leader who will accelerate change."
Over the last year, Microsoft has been talking up its transition to a so-called devices and services company, and Ballmer admitted there would be no point in him being at the spearhead of the new era.
"While I would like to stay here a few more years, it doesn't make sense for me to start the transformation and for someone else to come in during the middle.
"At the end of the day, we need to break a pattern. Face it: I'm a pattern."
It seems it is not just Ballmer who sees the merit in a quick turnaround as board member John Thompson said he was "pushing him damn hard to go faster [in the pace of transformation]", despite insisting Ballmer's initial decision to stand down was his own.
In the summer Ballmer announced he planned to stand down as chief executive – a role he has held since 2000 – within the next 12 months. Nokia boss Stephen Elop has been mooted as a frontrunner for the job along with Ford boss Alan Mulally.
Ballmer told the Wall Street Journal that a conversation with Mulally in which he asked the Ford boss for advice left him humbled. Mulally had told him the key to his success was around brand simplicity and teamwork, to which Ballmer reportedly conceded: "I'm big, I'm bald, I'm loud."
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