Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Steve Ballmer to Retire as CEO of Microsoft

By - Source: Microsoft | B 68 comments

Ballmer is saying goodbye to Microsoft.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced that he will step down from his position as Chief Executive at Microsoft within in a year. Microsoft hasn't given a more specific time frame. Instead, the company says Ballmer will leave once the process of choosing his successor is complete.

"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer said in a statement today. "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."

Microsoft's board has put together a special committee to find a new CEO. Aside from chairman and former CEO Bill Gates, the committee includes Chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and Chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo. This group will be led by John Thompson, the board's independent director.

Gates is quoted as saying Microsoft is lucky to have Ballmer during the transition. Ballmer joined Microsoft as business manager in 1980 having met Gates at Harvard in the 70's. He succeeded Bill as CEO 13 years ago, in 2000. Microsoft has received criticism for missing the boat on a lot of hot product categories over the last 10 years, including smartphones and tablets (though it's working hard to make up the ground there). No doubt Microsoft will be looking for a product focused leader as it moves forward with the process for finding a new CEO.

Interestingly, in his email to Microsoft staff, he said that his stepping down was in Microsoft's best interests. In other words, Steve isn't leaving to work on his herb garden and enjoy the life of a retired billionaire. He's leaving because Microsoft needs someone who can do a better job. Apparently, shareholders agree, as Microsoft shares are up more than 7 percent following the news that Microsoft is looking for a new chief. Who that will be is the question on everyone's lips.

Display 68 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    dr1337 , August 23, 2013 8:04 AM
    Finally!!!
  • 17 Hide
    wdmfiber , August 23, 2013 8:18 AM
    Hopefully his replacemnt is somewhat of a techie. And not recklessly paranoid of the
    competition or new tech(fads).

    As the vast majority of posters on Tom's called "the Windows 8 failure"; even back before it launched(consumer trials). Yet, MS just continued barreling along... and we all watched the train go over the cliff.
  • 14 Hide
    ssdpro , August 23, 2013 8:46 AM
    That's not a retirement folks... that's a consequence of Windows 8.
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    dr1337 , August 23, 2013 8:04 AM
    Finally!!!
  • 2 Hide
    bustapr , August 23, 2013 8:11 AM
    Hopefully, this new CEO will be extremely interested in bringing forth revolutionary products. Revolutionary products such as fancy eco-friendly toilets!
  • 17 Hide
    wdmfiber , August 23, 2013 8:18 AM
    Hopefully his replacemnt is somewhat of a techie. And not recklessly paranoid of the
    competition or new tech(fads).

    As the vast majority of posters on Tom's called "the Windows 8 failure"; even back before it launched(consumer trials). Yet, MS just continued barreling along... and we all watched the train go over the cliff.
  • 4 Hide
    gilbadon , August 23, 2013 8:19 AM
    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
  • 7 Hide
    giovanni86 , August 23, 2013 8:24 AM
    Soon that image of him will disappear, hopefully. ^sigh for relief*
  • 3 Hide
    toddybody , August 23, 2013 8:26 AM
    THANK HEAVENS...Ballmer is on one end of the Leadership Extreme...Im just hoping they dont hire a hippie to parody what they think is cool (Apple-ish).
  • 10 Hide
    Blazer1985 , August 23, 2013 8:29 AM
    Not going to judge his administration...
    But every time that man opened his mouth a few million dollars went down the tube.
  • -2 Hide
    spentshells , August 23, 2013 8:34 AM
    Someone who will innovate not replicate.
  • 5 Hide
    thesuperguy , August 23, 2013 8:36 AM
    Despite all the hate towards Ballmer, at least he realizes it is time to move on and openly accepts this retirement.
  • 1 Hide
    g00fysmiley , August 23, 2013 8:37 AM
    better brush up and update my resume /dreams
  • 3 Hide
    Onus , August 23, 2013 8:45 AM
    Good riddance! He strikes me as a blowhard who has missed more than a few too many boats.
  • 14 Hide
    ssdpro , August 23, 2013 8:46 AM
    That's not a retirement folks... that's a consequence of Windows 8.
  • 8 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , August 23, 2013 8:51 AM
    hopefully the new CEO will actually see how unpopular windows 8 is and make windows 9 much more lke windows 7 by giving people an actual start menu. having an option to disable metro entirely and giving people the option to enable aero glass, the things that most windows 8 users have complained about. In the meantime I would like to see another Windows 7 service pack just for the updates alone. let alone anything else. There have been prob over a thousand windows updates since the last service pack came out. A Windows 7 Serivce Pack 2 is long overdue.
  • 0 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , August 23, 2013 8:51 AM
    " 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."

    Hmm... I think this means something. Microsoft making PC's perhaps? I really hope the manufacturers keep at it with the Microsoft tablets, the full version not that crap Windows 8 RT which needs to be wiped off the face of the earth. I want to be able to buy an affordable laptop/tablet hybrid with a good enough APU to maybe do some light gaming.
  • 2 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , August 23, 2013 8:54 AM
    Also, Microsoft needs someone who has the passion of an enthusiast, who really knows the products and what improvements needs to be made. From what I've read Steve Jobs was a hard ass when it came to "quality" and the launched products all met his standard which was very good imo. We need someone who uses Microsoft products enough to understand what needs to be changed.
  • 5 Hide
    Hazle , August 23, 2013 8:54 AM
    after W8's mediocre, if not poor, reception, Surface not selling & the xbone marketing disaster, it's about time. i just hope he's not too involved in choosing his successor, because the last thing we need is Ballmer 2.0.
  • 1 Hide
    knightmike , August 23, 2013 8:56 AM
    It's a good thing he's not an astronaut because he strikes me as the kind of guy that would fly the spacecraft towards a black hole and and bail out just before the event horizon leaving the ship and crew to perish.
  • 1 Hide
    rantoc , August 23, 2013 9:04 AM
    Hope there are someone with the right visions left in MS, after all Balmer made sure to kick anyone with at least 1/2 a brain to strengthen his position. Seems the investors have seen the same pattern repeat over and over....
  • 0 Hide
    bison88 , August 23, 2013 9:06 AM
    Too little too late? Besides the X-Box Microsoft is the weakest in the consumer market than its ever been thanks to this clown. Of course Microsoft prides themselves on most their profits coming from business and enterprise customers, but there foothold on the consumer side of things has taken a huge hit. Practically laughable at this point.

    Big question is who's going to replace him. We all knew it was a matter of time before the ones in power (shareholders) finally saw what everyone else saw. That he was no good for MS anymore.
  • 2 Hide
    bubuhubu , August 23, 2013 9:08 AM
    Yesss.
Display more comments