, Bill Gates made his last CES keynote speech, and ever since he stepped down from Microsoft to work full time at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, eyes have started to look for his replacement.
In his last keynote, Gates was helped out by Robbie Bach, the president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, and right then many predicted he would be the new face of Microsoft at the consumer technology tradeshow. Not so. It turns out that CEO Steve Ballmer will be taking Bill Gates' pre-CES keynote at the 2009 International CES, scheduled for January 8-11, and will be giving the speech for years to come. Sony's Sir Howard Stringer and Ford's Alan Mulally will also be giving keynote speeches.
Steve Ballmer will deliver his speech on January 7, 2009, at 6:30pm PST. Ballmer is known for his love for Microsoft, and has given very intense and exciting speeches at company events before. At the same time though, he's a businessman (he was hired by Gates as the company's first business manager in 1980) so it will be quite a challenge for him to talk about the future of technology beyond just what Microsoft has in store. Ballmer may be very passionate about Microsoft, but whether he can pull off the pre-CES keynote as well as Gates did for the last few years is a question that can't be so easily answered. Steve Ballmer to fill Bill Gates' shoes at CES keynote