(Bloomberg) -- Former Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer, known for shouting publicly about his love for the software giant, said he maintains that sentiment even five years after leaving the helm. Ballmer said he plans to hold on to his shares, listing the company’s growing cloud business and the promising Surface hardware line as two reasons he’s optimistic.
Ballmer – the world’s 17th-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionares Index – was once the largest non-institutional holder of Microsoft shares, but no longer has to disclose the size of his stake. At the GeekWire Summit on Tuesday in Seattle, while describing the new Surface devices unveiled last week, Ballmer jumped out of his seat and exclaimed that the "new Surface lineup is amazing! Go, Microsoft Go!"
He also praised the continued profitability of the Windows personal-computer operating-system business. “At least this investor wants to see that profit stream stay around for a long time,” he said. Microsoft’s stock has jumped 24 percent in the past year, making it the largest publicly traded company, with a market value of more than $1 trillion.