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Ballmer to retire as Microsoft CEO

By Dan Pearson

Ballmer to retire as Microsoft CEO

Fri 23 Aug 2013 1:07pm GMT / 9:07am EDT / 6:07am PDT

Change will happen within a year once successor is chosen

Steve Ballmer is to retire as Microsoft CEO within the next year, the company has revealed today, adding credence to the rumours of a management reshuffle which accompanied Don Mattrick's departure earlier this year.

Ballmer will oversee the choice of his successor before taking retirement and remain as CEO during that process. The Microsoft board has appointed a special committee chaired by lead independent director John Thompson and including chairman of the Board Bill Gates, chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo.

"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," commented Ballmer. "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 is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company," added Thompson. "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."

Microsoft has said that it will be looking both internally and externally for candidates.

With the NASDAQ opening to the news of the voluble executive's departure, Microsoft stock has seen a sharp pre-market trading rise of over 9 per cent to $32.4 at the time of writing. Up to date prices reflecting current trading costs can be seen below.

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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster

1,471 1,573 1.1
It does sound like the right sort of time to me, given the company's attempts to transition to a new era.

Posted:3 years ago


Justin Biddle Software Developer

190 539 2.8

Posted:3 years ago


John Owens CEO, Wee Man Studios Ltd

1,037 1,355 1.3
I wonder if it wasn't just Mattrick that felt the heat after the Xbox fiasco.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 27th August 2013 3:31pm

Posted:3 years ago


Brian Perry Studying Master Science Game Design, Full Sail University

6 1 0.2
I'm hoping they transition to a company that is less of a multi-billion dollar patent troll. If they can learn as a company to compete fairly instead of destroying other businesses, this may be a welcome change. I doubt it since the old entrenched management will be overseeing the transition.

Posted:3 years ago


Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,499 1,899 1.3
It certainly raises the question of how cooperate environment PCs and Windows/Office will be sold in the future. Is Microsoft confident enough to think everybody is dependent enough on Windows that Microsoft can now go after their OEMs such as Dell and Lenovo?

Posted:3 years ago


Kevin L. Clark Founder, Editor-In-Chief, Fresh Thinking Media Group, LLC

27 5 0.2
If only the price of the console would go down. #noglitches

Posted:3 years ago


John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
Popular Comment
@Brian Perry

A little harsh calling them a troll.
You might not like the patent side of software but its known that Microsoft have invested huge amounts of money in R&D over the years and as a result have a large number of patents.
All large multi-nations software companies have owned and licensed patents and most of the time you never hear about it..
At least Microsoft produce products rather than truly trolling other companies with patents bought from others.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Donnelly on 23rd August 2013 3:52pm

Posted:3 years ago


Edward Buffery Head of LQA (UK), Testronic

151 98 0.6
Popular Comment
I have to feel a little sorry for a long-standing CEO whose departure announcement leads to an instant 9% rise in stock price >_< Best of luck to the team choosing his replacement. Decisions, decisions...

Posted:3 years ago


Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises

515 354 0.7
How many months now until Julie Larson-Green has that job?

She's definitely going to get it, because she's the Barack Obama of Microsoft. She's all over the news, she photographs and interviews well, and no one really knows what (if anything) she has accomplished there. But none of that really matters, because there's no possible way she can do a worse job as CEO than her predecessor.

Posted:3 years ago


Jeffrey Kesselman Professor - Game Development, Daniel Webster College

30 52 1.7
They should hire Scott McNealy.

That would sure give the industry a shake :)

Posted:3 years ago


Jeffrey Kesselman Professor - Game Development, Daniel Webster College

30 52 1.7
"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. "

Is it just me that is surprised to hear the Microsoft now wants to be Apple? That says an awful lot...

Posted:3 years ago

I believe Apple is still a devices company with a consumer focus...carefully dipping their toes into the waters of an enterprise market... They are definitely not a services company.

Posted:3 years ago


John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
The market has been soft on Microsoft for a while and looking for more from them and from Ballmer as well.
This is part of the reason for the share price spike this morning.
Other factors are related to the Nasdaq halt yesterday, people looking to take profits on a quick jump - the price came close to a 52 week high today and just general market sentiment on the tech sector.
As it stands the price is still up about 5% but it could end the day flat over all.

Posted:3 years ago


Paul Shirley Programmers

215 192 0.9
Happy news. I might not like Microsoft but we need the stability and a Microsoft without a madman at the helm has a lot more, less evil options available.

He did manage one good thing though, evicting expected successor Steven Sinofsky before going. With the chief architect of Win8 in charge change would have been difficult, maybe now they can pull back from the brink. That also raises promise that the XBone backtracking could become genuine, locked in change.

Posted:3 years ago


Todd Weidner Founder, Big Daddy Game Studio

527 1,327 2.5
Popular Comment
Well they need a visionary, but in companies this size, at this point in their life cycle, they usually just get the next status quo company man/woman. Its all about short term stock manipulation, and short term goals, since those at the top all get paid via stock options.

It's sad to see companies built by visionaries slowly overcome by the spreadsheet MBA crews.

Posted:3 years ago


Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster

490 219 0.4
I was 8 years old when Ballmer took the helm. The entirety of my tech-interested life I have watched MS - who I praise as THE most influential and important tech companies in history - go from balls up to balls up. I have have personally wondered how a company manages to co-ordinate it's marketing so terribly to this day, and I have watched Apple capitalize on that and destroy it financially as a result, all whilst eating up freedoms that many of us enjoy on our computers.

I've watched him fudge up IE, fudge up Zune's marketing, fudge up Metro's marketing (despite the fact that iOS 7 is blatantly ripping it off), fudge up Vista, fudge up Windows Mobile marketing. Literally anywhere that requires marketing, you can bet your bottom dollar that Ballmer will mess it up.

I'm really happy to see him go, hopefully the next person won't try and emulate Apple too much, as is the trend. I don't want two walled gardens thanks. Honestly, if they tried to be a bit more like Google tech wise, but without all the cavorting behind the scenes, they have the potential to be at the top again.

Many people talk about 'mature businesses' and all that rubbish. That's just what it is. Rubbish. Windows is a mature business. Microsoft is not, they just need to actually start taking the helm and really attacking these emerging markets properly. e.g. Windows Mobile was great, but no backward compatibility (from 7.5/8), no multicore support till 8, and such little take up that you're left out in the rain as a result. I'd be giving out copies free with a contractual commitment to a certain marketing budget if I was you right now.

Then there's Surface Pro. Oh god. A tablet that everyone wants with a pricetag that nobody can stomach.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Ihegbu on 23rd August 2013 7:05pm

Posted:3 years ago

I was never a big fan of Mr. Ballmer, I recognize he was responsible for much of the MS strategy, but his extravagant style on stage was disconcerting, and now with the immanent restructuring seems to.illustrate a business approach that was wanting. The investors will have been happy to see that his fingers will be out of of the restructuring, but will not be happy with the level of animosity that recent MS executive departures have engendered with their core audience.

Frankly, many see these departures as abandonment of accountability if Windows8 and Xbone fail to the level some industry researchers are alluding too!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by kevin williams on 26th August 2013 10:44am

Posted:3 years ago


David Serrano Freelancer

300 273 0.9
Ballmer will oversee the choice of his successor before taking retirement
Um... no thanks?

Posted:3 years ago


Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 595 0.4
Too late.
Apple and Google are entrenched now.
Microsoft just failed to respond to customer demand. They thought that they could dictate when they should have been listening.
The next boss will have an immensely difficult job reversing the slide.

Posted:3 years ago


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