Microsoft CEO Ballmer to retire in 12 months

The company's board has created a committee to find a new CEO

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talking to employees about One Microsoft at a town hall meeting in July 2013, only about a month before he announced his retirement.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talking to employees about One Microsoft at a town hall meeting in July 2013, only about a month before he announced his retirement.

Steve Ballmer will retire as Microsoft CEO at some point in the next 12 months, the company said on Friday in a surprising announcement that comes weeks after he drafted a major business reorganization that's being implemented now.

"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer said in an email to his employees. "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."

He noted that it 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," Ballmer wrote.

"This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the company I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most," he wrote, adding that Microsoft has "all its best days ahead."

The company's board of directors has created a special committee to find his replacement.

The committee includes Microsoft founder and current chairman of the board Bill Gates and is headed by John Thompson, the board's lead independent director, Microsoft said. Both internal and external candidates will be considered.

The new CEO must turn Microsoft into a successful devices and services company and must work with the company's leadership team to achieve this in an highly competitive industry, Microsoft said.

Ballmer has been CEO Microsoft since 2000. He joined Microsoft in 1980 and was the company's first business manager. After that, he held different roles in the company including senior vice president of sales and support, senior vice president of systems software and vice president of marketing.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business managementMicrosoftbusiness issuessoftwaresteve ballmer

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?