Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced he will retire from the position within the next 12 months, in the meantime he will stay on in the position until the Board of Directors chooses a replacement. The news comes as a surprise, but has been welcomed by Microsoft investors, as at the time of writing, the company’s stock price has jumped by 8 percent.
In a memo sent to Microsoft’s nearly 100,000 employees, Ballmer said, “There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time.” He continued to say he originally planned to leave his position when the firm completed its transition to a, “devices and services” company, but he realizes Microsoft needs, “a CEO who will be here for longer term for this new direction.”
Steve Ballmer took control of the company when Bill Gates stepped down from the role in 2000. Previously, he served as company president. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is still a member of the Board today, and will be instrumental in choosing Ballmer’s successor. According to a CNET report, they’ll be looking for candidates both internally and externally.
Many industry watchers think Steve Ballmer has outstayed his welcome in the position, and think a change of management at the top could do wonders for Microsoft. It’s certainly going to be fascinating to see how it affects the firm’s major product lines, including Windows Phone.