Microsoft has announced today that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months. This will of course take place upon the completion of a process to choose his successor as CEO of the company. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company.
“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.
Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft on June 11, 1980, and became Microsoft’s 30th employee, the first business manager hired by Gates. During the subsequent 20 years, Ballmer headed several Microsoft divisions, including operations, operating systems development, and sales and support. From February 1992 onwards he was Executive Vice President, Sales and Support. He was then President of Microsoft from July 1998 to February 2001. Ballmer led Microsoft’s development of the .NET Framework. In January 2000, Ballmer was officially named Chief Executive Officer.
We all know Steve Ballmer for some really funny moments, here are just a few…
So who will replace Ballmer?