Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has decided to retire within the next 12 months. The timing of his retirement will be adjusted as the process to find his successor comes to completion. Until that time Mr Ballmer will continue to lead the direction of Microsoft and aid in the corporation’s transformation into a devices and services company.
Concerning the timing of his announcement Ballmer stated that “There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time”. While bowing out he took the opportunity to praise the “amazing senior leadership team” at Microsoft but said that the company needs “a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.”
The Microsoft board reaffirmed the mantra about the future “devices and services” strategy. John Thompson, the board’s lead independent director, said “The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company”. He stated that the focus of the board is now to find “a great new CEO” to work with the senior management. “We’re fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties,” added Chairman of the Board Bill Gates.
The full internal email which was sent to Microsoft employees by Steve Ballmer to inform them of his retirement decision is reproduced upon the Microsoft news centre website. In the letter Ballmer described his depth of feeling for the company he is shortly to leave “Microsoft is an amazing place. I love this company. I love the way we helped invent and popularize computing and the PC. I love the bigness and boldness of our bets. I love our people and their talent and our willingness to accept and embrace their range of capabilities, including their quirks. I love the way we embrace and work with other companies to change the world and succeed together. I love the breadth and diversity of our customers, from consumer to enterprise, across industries, countries, and people of all backgrounds and age groups.” He also inserted a few statistics into his letter to show how much Microsoft has grown while he has been with the company; from a valuation of $7.5 million to $78 billion, from 30 employees to almost 100,000.
Ballmer annouced his retirement plan on Friday morning in the U.S.
Steve Ballmer’s goodbye letter concluded that “Microsoft has all its best days ahead,” and the stock market seems to agree, as immediately following the announcement of his retirement shares in Microsoft didn’t plunge nor flat-line but spiked by as much as nine per cent. However things have calmed down a bit now and MSFT shares are nearer to seven per cent up as I write, it will be interesting to see how things move near the closing bell. The share price movement is a clear Wall Street verdict upon the current CEO. An analyst speaking to CNet said that the current CEO’s departure is seen as “a large positive for the stock” and could be a signal of more significant changes to the company ahead.