Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months
Published: 23 August 2013
Steve Ballmer has been CEO of Microsoft MSFT +8.18% since taking over from Bill Gates in January 2000, but his long tenure is drawing to a close.

The tech giant said Friday that Ballmer has decided to retire within the next year, and the board has begun a process to find his successor.

Ballmer, who has drawn criticism from investors for allowing rivals like Apple AAPL +0.14% and Google GOOG +0.48% to outrun Microsoft in mobile devices, is currently trying to transform Microsoft to focus on devices and services rather than just software.

"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer said in the company's release.

Since Ballmer took the reins Microsoft shareholders have had a negative total return of nearly 20%. While some of that decline can be attributed to the tech sector's rapid descent from the heights of the dot-com bubble, Microsoft has frustrated investors for years with its inability to replicate the dominance of the Windows operating system in other developing platforms.

Gates, who will sit on the board search committee tasked with finding Ballmer's replacement, said Microsoft is "fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties."

Shares of Microsoft shot higher in pre-market trading and were up nearly 8% just after the open at $34.86. The surge still leaves Microsoft below the $35.44 close July 18, the day it reported ugly quarterly results that prompted a more than 11% drop in the following session.
- forbes


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