Longtime Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is stepping down from his post, after taking over after Bill Gates almost a decade ago.

When Bill Gates recently discussed looking for a replacement for Ballmer, he had to fight back tears when talking about how integral the search for a new CEO is to Microsoft. Ballmer and Gates have been friends throughout their time at the company together, and Gates had only good things to say about the man who has steered the Microsoft ship through the 2000s. "It’s a real privilege to lead the incredibly talented group of employees we have," he said. "We’ve got a commitment to make sure the next CEO is the right person for right time for the company we both love."

"We share a commitment that Microsoft will succeed as a company that makes the world a better place."

RELATED: Watch Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer Do 'A Night at the Roxbury' and 'Matrix' Impressions (For Real)

[via The Verge]