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Microsoft Corp. today announced that chief executive officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. In the meantime, Mr. Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most. The company will consider both internal and external candidates for new CEO.

“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing senior leadership team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction,” said Mr. Ballmer.

The board of directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process. This committee is chaired by John Thompson, the board’s lead independent director, and includes chairman of the board Bill Gates, chairman of the audit committee Chuck Noski and chairman of the compensation committee Steve Luczo. The special committee is working with Heidrick & Struggles International, a leading executive recruiting firm, and will consider both external and internal candidates.

“As a member of the succession planning committee, I will work closely with the other members of the board to identify a great new CEO. We are fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties,” said Bill Gates, a co-founder and chairman of Microsoft. 

It is remarkable that Steve Ballmer decided to leave Microsoft just a month after he announced major reorganization plan. While by the time the new chief executive officer takes the reigns Microsoft’s transformation will either be at full swing or largely completed, the new chief executive will still likely make changes to the company, just like any other new CEO would do. It is clear that the new chief exec will share Mr. Ballmer’s vision about the future of Microsoft, he/she will still need to tailor the company for himself/herself. As a result, Microsoft will be under reorganization for at least several quarters, not a good news for the company.

Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 and was the company’s first business manager. Before becoming CEO in 2000, his roles at Microsoft included senior vice president of sales and support, senior vice president of systems software and vice president of marketing.

Mr. Ballmer and the company's leaders focus on creating a family of devices and services for individuals and businesses that empower people around the globe at home, at work and on the go, for the activities they value most. Under his leadership, Microsoft has more than tripled revenue and doubled profits since 2000.

Steve Ballmer was born in March 1956, and he grew up near Detroit where his father worked as a manager at Ford Motor Co. Ballmer earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Harvard University. He worked for two years at Procter & Gamble Co. as an assistant product manager and attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business before joining Microsoft.

Tags: Microsoft, Business


Comments currently: 21
Discussion started: 08/23/13 06:31:14 AM
Latest comment: 08/26/13 08:08:43 AM
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thank god! maybe the next CEO will get windows back on track with Windows 9 and make it a lot more pc user friendly by adding a real start menu, having a function to totally disable metro and giving people the option to enable aero glass.
3 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 08/23/13 06:31:14 AM]
- collapse thread

I don't think too, that removing Aero was concept of enginers, rather concept of marketing geniuses in Microsoft, maybe Ballmer.
But I would not celebrate too much.
A thing that could change this state is displeasure of stockholders.
So far most users disappointed by removing Aero are users that already bought Windows 8.
So far, so good (for stockholders). Sad.
2 1 [Posted by: KonradK  | Date: 08/23/13 07:05:03 AM]
I don't see how stock holders would be pleased with windows 8 since it's sales so far are highly disappointing and the only real reasons for it's small market share is due to pc vendors equipping windows 8 on their pc's. meanwhile windows 7 market share continues to grow due to people and companies switching over to windows 7 from windows xp and avoiding windows 8 pretty much altogether in the process.
1 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 08/23/13 07:50:22 AM]

Finally given the tap by Bill Gates. It's been 13 Years of fails and lack of innovation from Zune to Vista to Windows 8 and now XboxOne. Microsoft decided to sit on its Office cash cow thinking it would be an eternal tax on the people. It is now paying for its arrogance.
3 0 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 08/23/13 06:56:09 AM]
- collapse thread

Happens to best of 'em. I don't think any company is immune from sitting on their a$$ when the times are good.
We see it here in the US as our governmental system is being eroded away. Our politicians send our men and women to war while our politicians destroy America.
1 0 [Posted by: USAFANG67  | Date: 08/23/13 07:38:36 AM]
I also happen to think that Bill Gates might well have told Mr. Ballmer that he should start looking at other career opportunities.

If so, Steve Ballmer is paying the ultimate price for the failure of Windows 8 and the bad choices made in regard to XBox One.

0 0 [Posted by: BernardP  | Date: 08/23/13 06:33:46 PM]

Hopefully the next CEO is level-headed and brings a positive image for Microsoft.
1 0 [Posted by: ChiliBean  | Date: 08/23/13 07:01:11 AM]
- collapse thread

I'm not so sure that MS has much of a positive image left out there. But miracles do happen.
3 0 [Posted by: USAFANG67  | Date: 08/23/13 07:31:26 AM]

How long does it take for a company to finally figure out that a CEO has been more of a liability than an asset?
Companies don't think twice when it comes to getting rid of an underperforming manager and or person.
2 0 [Posted by: USAFANG67  | Date: 08/23/13 07:29:09 AM]

right decision................but too late
2 0 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 08/23/13 07:46:15 AM]

Microsucks is killing themselves slowly... and that's good for consumers as a quality O/S will emerge.
3 1 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 08/23/13 08:14:55 AM]

Just make damn sure that the next CEO is not the ribbon lady, OMG! NO MORE TIFKAM, Just bring back windows 7, with some under the hood improvments, get rid of that cell phone Interface and bring back the start menu! No more bimodal desktop/laptop OSs ever, even Apple has a desktop/laptop OS and a different OS for its mobile devices! The best thing for M$ would be to purge upper management of all vestiges of the chair thrower's hand, and a good start would be all the interface changing for the sake of change, crowd, yes the interface change folks need to go also!
1 0 [Posted by: BigChiefRunAmok  | Date: 08/23/13 08:27:46 AM]

if Microsoft was smart they would come out with another windows 7 service pack and incorporate some of the good things in windows 8 onto windows 7 that and it's long overdue for one due to the fact alone that there have been a thousand or so windows updates since the last service pack was released.
2 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 08/23/13 08:46:26 AM]

Bean counters always stuff a business up. They have no vision of the future as they spend their entire lives counting pennies of what has happened, they usually work well with an innovator as they are not forward thinkers but live in the past as this tells them what has happened to the pennies.
Innovation in accounting is called creative accounting and is one big NO NO. Whereas innovation in design and ideas is encouraged by the movers and shakers.
Usually once the innovators leave the helm of any organization and is replaced by an accounting type the enterprise suffers and goes into a decline.
2 0 [Posted by: tedstoy  | Date: 08/23/13 03:16:10 PM]

12 months; that ain't soon enough.

Ever since XP, for ten years, he has only been in it for the money and control, and has wreaked havoc upon Microsoft, their employees and their customers. How he did on a a scale of 1 to 10, is a 6 at best. By comparison, I would give Steve Jobs 10 out of 10. His biggest failures apart from product alienation and mismanagement are Windows Vista and Microsoft Surface. Both are disgraces to Microsoft, not to mention the overall lack of security and reliability in the operating system itself. On the flip side, he did manage to get Windows on mobile devices which is why I give him a 6 and not a 5 out of 10. Microsoft Surface is literally something I can buy brand new just to torch the living hell out of it; its absolute garbage. To illustrate this I'll use a scale again, 1 being the best deal for Microsoft and 10 being the best deal for consumers; 1, 2 at best. For Microsoft, tablets are expensive toys disguised by marketing as laptops, but being nothing more than a toy (a boring toy) at the same price of a laptop that can do 10x more, 10x faster. It's a direct attack against consumer intelligence. The nexus 7 and 10 which are better products cost 1/3 to less than 1/2 the price. I find it hilarious and sad that Ballmer couldn't solve the start problem; again showing he has very little awareness and understanding about the product itself. For example, when consumers say they miss the start button, do they really mean they miss the start button, or that they miss Explorer, and how easy it was to navigate files and programs, and to search for files (cough cough, crappy built-in search far from par with the archaic XP search function.) Think about the XP interface used as default, with the Windows 8 bar coming up still if you mouse to any corner, and a gesture or press of the windows key to go back to normal interface; simple. I'll bet someone at Microsoft thought of the same thing, yet Microsoft chokes (cough cough Ballmer).
0 0 [Posted by: ericore  | Date: 08/23/13 04:23:58 PM]

I hope he has a debilitating heart attack before the year is out, MS would be far better off
0 1 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 08/24/13 12:43:10 AM]
- collapse thread

Now now let's not wish ill on a man for his failures in business. Remember he has a family to go to after work like the rest of us.
0 0 [Posted by: vanakkuty  | Date: 08/26/13 04:33:27 AM]
Yes, let us all be big boys and stay civilize!

Even so, would it be ok to hope he'll loose the lat patch of hairs stuck on his head?
0 0 [Posted by: MHudon  | Date: 08/26/13 08:04:03 AM]

Good riddance. I hope the new CEO will fix Win 8 and specially Office 2013 with the ubber crap disaster font rendering.
1 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 08/24/13 02:49:23 AM]

Dear Mr. Balder,

I'll miss watching videos of you getting exited on stage.

You failed to show us how things should be done, but were excellent at teaching us what not to do.

Good luck!
0 0 [Posted by: MHudon  | Date: 08/26/13 08:08:43 AM]


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