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Microsoft Announces Retirement of CEO Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer

It’s nice to be able to retire at 57 and a heck of a lot of money. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will do just that, the company has announced.

He decided that he will retire from his position within the next 12 months as the company looks for a new CEO. Until then, Ballmer is still running the show.

“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, buy now is the right time,” said Ballmer through a statement issued in a press release.

For now, a board-elected committee is tasked with finding a new CEO. It’s chaired by John Thompson, its lead independent director and former Microsoft CEO and co-founder Bill Gates. “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.” He added that the company is “fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties.”

I’m no “insider” but it doesn’t take much to figure out something strange is going on at the Redmond giant. Ballmer retiring on the heels of news of major company restructuring, not to mention Windows President Steven Sinofsky left the company at the end of last year.

You can read the full press release below:

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 23, 2013 — 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, 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.

“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.”

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 Inc., a leading executive recruiting firm, and will consider both external and internal candidates.

“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,” said Gates. “We’re fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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7 Responses to Microsoft Announces Retirement of CEO Steve Ballmer

  1. Jim Zarn August 23, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    Being worth Billions, I have a lot of respect for Ballmer taking early retirement. Take the time off and spend with family and friends. I mean for gods sake, he’s worth bbbbbbbillions!!!!

    • Brian Burgess August 23, 2013 at 10:14 am #

      Good point. I would imagine he joins the board like Gates did? How old was Gates when he quit — 52? So, Ballmer has hung in there even longer. This should be some interesting times for MS moving forward.

  2. Alex August 23, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    If they are smart they will go outside for new thinking and a fresh perspective.
    Perhaps Tim Cook would take the job. 🙂

  3. Austin Krause August 23, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    No more eccentric images or gifs of ballmer chasing cake across the stage? Dang. I will miss his keynotes.

  4. Ziggy August 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Will he become part of Patch Tuesday and morph into a kb666666 which wreaks havoc on one’s unsuspecting pc? Wouldn’t that be fun, now!

    Imagine trying to pin him down somewhere deep down in the bowels of your computer…eek! Scary…

  5. Steve Krause August 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    Nice screenshots J. Might have been able to find a bit “easier to look at” images…. ;p)

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