In a news that will sadden a lot of people in the world of tech, Steve Ballmer is set to step down as the CEO of Microsoft within the next year. No, not for a single second are we advocating that he was the most accomplished CEO out there or Microsoft will miss him, in fact they might well be bettr off without him, but for the sheer energy, for the sheer energy and for the sheer audacity to pull out rabbits out of a hat that probably even a magician would not dare to, we will miss Steve Ballmer.
The news does not come as a shock, as there had been rumors in the past of Steve not enjoying a great repo with the people at Microsoft and with rapid changes at Microsoft given a couple of failed products such as Windows 8 and to an extent Windows Phone, there were bound to be repercussions. The successor will be decided by the board shortly, but for what it’s worth, Microsoft’s shares rose by 7% shortly after the announcement was made. Definitely someone is very happy with Steve moving on. Here is the official announcement from Microsoft:
REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — 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 (MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.