Microsoft CEO and the 'man who had to follow Bill Gates' is to leave his role 'within 12 months' according to sources close.... damn, according to Microsoft itself.
Pre-market opening this morning - but following the breaking news, yes, Microsoft's stock price is on the rise. Given Ballmer has overseen the disasters of Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface, this is no surprise. So, what does Microsoft have to say?
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.”
Microsoft has even appointed a special committee to look for Ballmer's successor: 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.