Microsoft chairman Bill Gates held back tears today as he discussed the significance of his company's search for its next CEO. Gates didn't have any major updates on Microsoft's efforts to replace Steve Ballmer, but he did acknowledge the company is interviewing external and internal candidates. "It’s a complex role to fill," said Gates, before noting that Ballmer's successor will need to be comfortable running a company like Microsoft.

While the search continues, Gates took a moment to thank Ballmer for his work at the company. "I want to say thanks for the leadership over the last 13 years," said Gates. "It’s a real privilege to lead the incredibly talented group of employees we have." In what is clearly an emotional time for Gates and Ballmer, Gates continued to discuss the CEO search. "We’ve got a commitment to make sure the next CEO is the right person for right time for the company we both love," said Gates, before visibly choking up and holding back tears. "We share a commitment that Microsoft will succeed as a company that makes the world a better place."