After meeting at Harvard, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer have been working together for so long, "they often complete each other's sentences," according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal in a frontpage feature for Gates's last month working full-time at the Redmond software giant. But it wasn't all smiles and sunshine over the years. After handing over the title of CEO to Ballmer, "In meetings Mr. Gates would interject with sarcasm, undermining Mr. Ballmer in front of other executives." And at one point, Gates even pitched a fit!
Things became so bitter that, on one occasion, Mr. Gates stormed out of a meeting in a huff after a shouting match in which Mr. Ballmer jumped to the defense of several colleagues, according to an individual present at the time. After the exchange, Mr. Ballmer seemed "remorseful," the person said.
After which, we imagine, in a private exchange on the quiet walking trails which meander through the bucolic woods which surround the Microsoft campus, Gates tearfully exclaimed to Ballmer, "I wish I knew how to quit you."