Thousands of Microsoft employees gather for Steve Ballmer’s final company meeting

ballmer-headshotIt’s one last hurrah for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today in downtown Seattle.

About 13,000 Microsoft employees are flocking to Key Arena this morning for the annual company meeting. This year’s big internal get-together is particularly notable because it is the final company-wide meeting for Ballmer, who set to depart within the year after announcing last month that he was stepping down as CEO of the Redmond software giant.

Some stats on today’s meeting:

  • About 13,000 are at Key Arena and Microsoft expects more than 25,000 to be watching via webcast
  • There were 220 busses filled to capacity that transported people from the Redmond campus to Key Arena today
  • 9,000 arrived via Microsoft shuttles

The Twitter stream showed a seriously long line to get into the arena, which has a capacity of about 17,459.

Microsoft employees in line for the annual company meeting at Key Arena. Photo via Bob Ulrich.

Microsoft employees in line for the annual company meeting at Key Arena. Photo via Bob Ulrich.

This line to get into the #MicrosoftCompanyMeeting is crazy! I don't think there's ever been a line before.

Microsoft employees line up at Key Arena for the annual company meeting. Photo via Jose Moreno.

It also caused some traffic problems for Thursday morning commuters:

And apparently there was some rapping going on involving Windows Azure:

Meanwhile back on the Microsoft campus, conference rooms are available.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 11:15 A.M. PST with attendance numbers from Microsoft

  • guest

    End of an era.

  • Guest

    Thanks, Steve. It’s heartening to see so many turn out in appreciation.

  • “D”

    Is the meeting/traffic snarl over yet??? I need to leave QueenAnne….

  • rpasea

    A decade or so too late