Microsoft CEO Ballmer to retire in 12 months
IT mogul Microsoft announced on Friday that its incumbent chief executive Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months, ending a 13-year tenure at the world’s leading software manufacturer.
In a statement on its site, Microsoft announced that “upon the completion of a process to choose his successor“, Ballmer would exit the company within the coming year.
However, “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,” added the statement.
Steve Ballmer’s declaration of the scheduled retirement comes during a time of major market transition for the company as consumers focus shifts from traditional desktop PCs to tablets and other cutting-edge mobile devices.
Ballmer, who previously worked at Apple and Google, played a key role in driving Microsoft’s strategy for cloud computing, with acquisitions like Skype.
However, during Mr. Ballmer’s reign, Microsoft endured years of criticism from the investor as the evolution of mobile devices and cutting-edge Internet services wore down the impact of the personal computer giant.
The company, led by Mr. Ballmer, responded to the pressures from its patrons in a number of ways including going through the radical path of developing and selling its own tablet-style computer to compete with longtime competitors like Apple.
The decision comes on the back of constant criticism from patrons and competitors alike as back in May, 2012, hedge fund manager David Einhorn called for the CEO to quit his position.
“His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft’s stock,” reported an article on the Fox Business quoting Mr. Einhorn.
In the mean time, in an emotional memo to Microsoft staff, Mr. Ballmer dubbed the company an “amazing place,” stating that he “committed 100 percent emotionally all the way,” reports NASDAQ.
US stocks opened higher as the market got a jolt from the Microsoft announcement, reports Yahoo Finance.
The computing giant’s shares rose to 6.7 percent to $34.55 in starting trade as Ballmer, who replaced Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates back in 2000, said the company would look for a new leader who is capable of taking charge of its “transformation to a devices and services company.”
Wall Street overall followed the global trend higher in markets as five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 14.86 points (0.10 percent) at 14,978.60 as well, the report added.
By Blake Adams