Steve Ballmer who has been with Micorsoft since 1980 when Bill Gates hired him as a business manager is set to retire within the next year. He led a number of departments before becoming Microsoft's CEO in 2000.
His tenure as CEO has seen some of Microsoft's greatest advancements but also a number of flops. Still he has been a paralyzing figure in Microsoft history. In a statement issued today, Auguest 23, 2013, Ballmer says
"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."
Ballmer will remain as CEO until his successor is chosen. A special committee has been appointed to help select the company's next CEO. The company's founder, BIll Gates himself is named as a committee member.
In a letter to Microsoft's staff Steve expressed confidence in the new Senior Leadership team, stating "This is a time of important transformation for Microsoft. Our new Senior Leadership team is amazing. The strategy we have generated is first class. Our new organization, which is centered on functions and engineering areas, is right for the opportunities and challenges ahead."
Microsoft has undergone a number of changes lately, including the departure of their president of interactive media, Dan Mattrik. Dan Mattrik is now the CEO of Zynga. Microsoft is dedicated to transforming the company into a successful devices and services company. In order to assure they find the CEO best able to do this, they are searching internally as well as externally for their next CEO.
Microsoft stock rose by 8% immediately following the announcement of Ballmer's retirement. Ballmer himself owns 333 million shares of MSFT. So his retirement quite frankly grew his net worth substantially. Ballmer leaves Microsoft with nothing but the best interest of the company in mind. Regardless of how you personally feel about his tenure as CEO, we all recognize that he has been a key player in the success of Microsoft.