Microsoft announced that long-serving Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer will be leaving the employment of the technology giant. While no exact date for his retirement has been given, the company stated that he will be leaving within the next 12 months.
“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,” Microsoft said in a statement.
Ballmer commented that there is never a good time to announce a retirement, but he has full confidence in the company going forward.
“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. 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,” he said in the statement.
A suitable replacement for Ballmer will be sought through a special committee that has been set up by Microsoft, and will include co-founder Bill Gates, Chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and Chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo, while being chaired by John Thompson, the board’s lead independent director.
“The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company. 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,” said Thompson.
Co-founder Gates detailed his role in the selection committee. “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. We’re fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties.”
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech Editor