Published on August 26th, 2013 | by Cameron Woolsey
Steve Ballmer to Retire from Microsoft “within next 12 months”
Microsoft has confirmed in an announcement that CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within the year as soon as the company finds a replacement.
“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,” Ballmer said. “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 helped found Microsoft in 1975 alongside Bill Gates. Together, the team took Microsoft from obscure to a software company worth more than $70 billion today. Famous for the Windows operating system, Microsoft broke into the console business in 2001 with the Xbox. Ballmer played a key role in bringing the Xbox to the public, a fact that was brought to light more than once by Dean Takahashi, author of Opening the Xbox: Inside Microsoft’s Plan to Unleash an Entertainment Revolution (2002).
Microsoft has formed a committee to search for a new replacement for Ballmer, which we believe will not be an easy task. The committee, which board chairman Bill Gates is a member of, is led by John Thompson, the board’s lead independent director.
“The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company,” Thompson said. “As this work continues, we are focused on selecting a new CEO to work with the company’s senior leadership team to chart the company’s course and execute on it in a highly competitive industry.”
“As a member of the succession planning committee, I’ll work closely with the other members of the board to identify a great new CEO,” Gates said. “We’re fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties.”