I have a question about the word "optimistic" from the Peter Klein's resignation letter. He wrote:

One noteworthy characteristic of Finance is the regularity of its rhythm – month end, quarter end, year end. Every one of those milestones marks the passage of time. And as time passes, and milestones are marked, we all periodically reflect on our lives, our goals, and our priorities. As we approach the end of the fiscal year, I have been reflecting in that way. And I have decided that now is a good time for me to step away from Microsoft and take some time to spend with my family in a way that I haven't had the opportunity to do in the 30 years I have been working.

This has not been an easy decision. I love Microsoft. I love my job. When I joined Microsoft 11 years ago I had this loosely held belief that people were one of the most important elements of any job or any company. I had no idea how profoundly true that is, but I do now. People are everything. Microsoft is the most amazing collection of talented, passionate and caring people I could ever imagine being associated with. It's been an honor and my good fortune to have been part of that.

I am proud of the work that Finance has done and the impact we have had on the Company. One reason that now is a good time to leave is that the organization is very strong, and I am delighted we will be naming an internal candidate. I couldn't be more optimistic about both the Company's and Finance's future.

Looking ahead, I have no specific plans. In the short term I will work to ensure a smooth transition. After that I intend to spend time with my extended family which is dispersed throughout the country and hopefully get to some long deferred travel. For the last 11 years Microsoft has been my family and now I am going to focus on my other family.

Thanks for being such a great team – I will follow your success with great interest and pride.


From my understanding, the word "optimistic" mean to expect that a good thing will happen in the future. But from the bold sentence, it sounds like he doesn't hope that good things will happen at Microsoft.

  • Your presumed meaning of optimistic is correct. If I were to guess, I'd say that this question is more about the couldn't be more construct than it is about the definition of the word optimistic. Indeed, the speaker wishes only goodwill on the company, and expects that the company will remain successful.
    – J.R.
    Apr 23, 2013 at 9:39
  • @J.R. I agree with you. Thank you for your suggestion.
    – Anonymous
    Apr 24, 2013 at 4:43

1 Answer 1


It means the same as it normally means. In the phrase "couldn't be more" optimistic, it means that he is as optimistic as he could possibly be - that they will do well. He couldn't expect that they will do well any more than he already does.

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