Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Retire ‘Within 12 Months’

Microsoft has issued a press release stating that its CEO, Steve Ballmer, will retire “within the next 12 months”, remaining in his position until a suitable successor is found. The precise reasons for Bullmer’s departure were not given, though he was quoted as saying:

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.

The stock market reacted positively to the news, with Microsoft’s share price opening 8% higher than the previous day’s closing.


(Image courtesy of Mashable)
Ballmer joined Microsoft in June 1980 and became the company’s 35th employee, having been a business manager recruited by Bill Gates, the former chief executive and chairman of the company. Ballmer was named CEO in January 2000, and throughout his tenure was responsible for some key changes in Microsoft as a company, including the shift towards cloud computing, key business acquisitions such as that of Skype in May 2011 and the release of Microsoft’s first consumer tablet device, the Surface, back in June 2012.

However, Ballmer’s tenure has not been without criticism. Microsoft’s share price has remained fairly stagnant under his leadership and the disappointing sales of the Surface have further sprinkled salt into the wound. He was also criticized concerning his remarks about Apple at a press conference back in 2009, where he described the company’s products as, “$500 more to get a logo”.

Microsoft’s Board of Directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process of replacing Ballmer as CEO. The committee, which includes Bill Gates as one of its members, will be working with an executive recruiting firm, Heidrick & Struggles, to find a replacement. The press release also stated that Microsoft, “will consider both external and internal candidates”, although no official job announcement has been made as of yet.



Microsoft takes Xbox One meetings in Hollywood

Ballmer and Tellem reportedly wooing CBS and Sony TV executives

Microsoft takes Xbox One meetings in Hollywood

If the recent Microsoft Xbox One reveal wasn’t enough to make you believe in its commitment to providing an entertainment service, now there’s news that CEO Steve Ballmer and entertainment studios president Nancy Tellem are courting TV executives in Hollywood with the new console.

Deadline reported that the pair have had meetings with CBS chief Les Moonves, Sony TV boss Steve Mosko, and WME co-CEOS Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, while an insider told Deadline that the purpose of the visits was “to reiterate Microsoft’s commitment to transitioning its business to devices and services and to explaining that Hollywood entertainment is a big part of that. Microsoft in the past has just dipped a toe but now has a real commitment.”

Apparently declaring during the visits that he “doesn’t want to be a cable channel,” Ballmer showed of the new Xbox One to the execs ahead of E3 next week, and pushed the technological capabilities of the machine hard, giving examples of how it could apply to sports, music, reality TV and scripted shows.

Microsoft’s E3 press conference will take place on Monday, at 9.30am PT and 5.30pm BST.