Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within a year’s time

Friday, 23rd August 2013 14:18 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced he will be retiring within one year, during which he will be overseeing the choice of his successor.

Here’s a portion of his statement on the matter:

“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,” said Ballmer in a statement. “My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.

“I will retire as CEO of Microsoft within the next 12 months, after a successor is chosen. There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time.

“I am proud of what we have achieved. We have grown from $7.5 million to nearly $78 billion since I joined Microsoft, and we have grown from employing just over 30 people to almost 100,000. I feel good about playing a role in that success and having committed 100 percent emotionally all the way.

“I am excited by our mission of empowering the world and believe in our future success. I cherish my Microsoft ownership, and look forward to continuing as one of Microsoft’s largest owners. This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the company I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most.”

The Board of Directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process of finding a new CEO, and it is chaired by John Thompson, the board’s lead independent director, and includes Chairman of the Board Bill Gates, Chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and Chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo.

The special committee is working with Heidrick & Struggles International Inc., a leading executive recruiting firm, and will consider both external and internal candidates.

“The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company,” Thompson said. “As this work continues, we are focused on selecting a new CEO to work with the company’s senior leadership team to chart the company’s course and execute on it in a highly competitive industry.”

“As a member of the succession planning committee, I’ll work closely with the other members of the board to identify a great new CEO,” said Gates. “We’re fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties.”

The 57 year old Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 as the firm’s 30th employee, and was the first business manager hired by founder Bill Gates. Over the next 20 years, Ballmer headed up several divisions, including operations, operating systems development, and sales and support before being named executive vice president in 1992.

He was promoted to president in 1998 and was named CEO in 2000 and continued to serve as president in tangent until 2001.

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  1. Max Payne

    MS really changed lot of people in both Windows and Xbox department.

    #1 8 months ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    Big day. Big man. Big arms.

    #2 8 months ago
  3. Kanok

    Bill Gates back please…

    #3 8 months ago
  4. Hunam

    Thank god. Microsoft might actually stand a chance now.

    #4 8 months ago
  5. sebastien rivas

    Except for Windows 8 that is a flop to my eyes, I must say he has done a good job keeping MS on top on things.

    #5 8 months ago
  6. wamp

    Look at those eyes… the eyes of a maniac :D Even after his retirement he’ll still chase our souls. You’ve changed things… Forever …. There’s no going back… HAHHAHhhhaa-hahahaha-ah

    #6 8 months ago
  7. Gheritt White


    #7 8 months ago
  8. NocturnalB

    Good riddance.

    #8 8 months ago
  9. Belmont

    The new CEO will have the post-PC world to deal with, not to mention the transition into a company that does hardware too. Big Task !

    In a world where Ben Affleck will play Batman, My money is on Andrew House leading Microsoft into future !! :)

    #9 8 months ago
  10. NocturnalB

    In a world where Ben Affleck is Batman, the world sucks.

    #10 8 months ago
  11. JB

    A few select posts from VG247 vaults…

    #11 8 months ago
  12. Eregol

    This is having a really good impact on MS’ stock price by the way.

    #12 8 months ago
  13. Cobra951

    Good riddance indeed.

    #13 8 months ago
  14. Rockin a Jack D

    Fucking finally.

    #14 8 months ago
  15. VibraniumSpork

    Spare a moment to reflect on how this news forever renders this GIF obsolete *tear rolls down cheek*:

    #15 8 months ago
  16. mistermogul

    About time. This guy has lead a company that has been a sheep and not innovated at all since Gates left.

    Xbox is a success but there are too many failures to mention. I wonder if he was kindly asked to step down?

    #16 8 months ago
  17. orakaa

    @6: Seriously, during his reign, he has let Microsoft go from dominant and ahead of its time to loosing ground majorly.
    Sure Windows 8 and Surface RT are failures (commercially and/or in terms of public acceptance) but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Since Ballmer arrived, Microsoft has let
    - Mobile market get out of their hands (they’ve let Apple and Google take over the whole market)
    - They waited years before entering the tablet race and came with an outdated, overpriced product

    So it’s not only about where they obviously “lost”, it’s also about where they missed their chance.

    #17 8 months ago
  18. orakaa

    @17: We might never know, but after the disaster that was Surface RT (over 1.8 billion loss between the marketing campaign and the devaluation of Surface’s stock units), the shrinking of laptop sales (affecting Windows) and low acceptance rate of Windows 8, yes he must DEFINITELY have been “asked” to retire.

    People might think that the diminution of laptop sales has nothing to do with Microsoft and Ballmer shouldn’t be “blamed” for that by Microsoft shareholders and board of directors but the problem is that he didn’t foresee it. He didn’t push the tablet trend and is now years behind trying to catch up and Microsoft’s market share is shrinking compared to what it used to be (they don’t own the “second home/laptop computer” anymore).

    #18 8 months ago
  19. monkeygourmet


    You’ve outdone yourself again with the header image! :)

    #19 8 months ago
  20. wicktus

    good riddance bye bye

    #20 8 months ago
  21. Jesus Christ

    This is sad news indeed. Great man, great CEO – extremely talented! He single handedly made Microsoft big again.

    Best of luck, Steve. I’m sure you’ll be missed at Microsoft.

    #21 8 months ago
  22. DSB

    Great news.

    It would’ve taken Microsoft forever to die, so that would’ve been a tedious spectacle. Hopefully they’ll find someone with an actual idea in their head.

    #22 8 months ago
  23. FeaturePreacher

    I wonder with Ballmer’s departure if this is the time that Microsoft becomes the next IBM, a shell of its former glory that just does a lot of consulting work with no vision for anything.

    #23 8 months ago
  24. ps3fanboy

    who would have thought that micro$hafts biggest CEO was kicked out of the company… all because of how badly the xbone was handled. i expect its bill gate himself that is pulling the strings.

    anyway take notice xbots, there is a important learning in all this. its no shame to admit you lost and the PS4 won. its no shame to let go of the xbox for good and join the sony camp.

    your all welcome to sonys extravaganza called ps4.

    #24 8 months ago
  25. Lengendaryboss

    Not sure if serious or idiotic?

    #25 8 months ago
  26. ps3fanboy

    @28 oh, so your mom didnt allow you any gif links to day?… LMFAO!!!1

    #26 8 months ago
  27. Unknown_Gamer

    @22 I hope you are trolling , if not YOU ARE AN EVIL LOOKING BASTARD JUST LIKE HIM ,
    dammit Iranians are always acting like “we are the evil side of this world” xD

    #27 8 months ago
  28. fearmonkey

    Thank heavens :) I just hope he doesn’t place in one of his sheep, the company needs new blood and a new vision.

    #28 8 months ago
  29. sebastien rivas

    I thought about this too but you need to understand him. He already has an agenda. How better can he see through his agenda but placing one of his Exec VPs. i am pretty sure the guy already invested something in MS shares and does not want to see it plunge.
    So I am all up for new blood, new ideas, new R&D but I assume we will see a bit of Steve B. for next couple years in each new MS release.

    #29 8 months ago
  30. Gheritt White

    @30: You racist piece of shit; I seriously hope that was just a poorly told joke instead of outrageous bigotry.

    #30 8 months ago
  31. Obernox

    @10 please tell me that’s a joke, please.

    EDIT: Jesus Christ it’s true

    #31 8 months ago
  32. Mike W


    Maybe Matt Damon can be the joker? ;)

    #32 8 months ago
  33. Obernox

    #33 8 months ago
  34. Dreamcast


    Freudian slip. How fitting.

    You’re idiotic, by the way. Since you asked the question.

    Call yourself legendayboss but can’t figure out how the edit button works. How fitting that the name reflects nothing of the actual person behind it.

    #34 8 months ago
  35. AsianGameing

    thx for window 8 asshole and goodbye

    #35 8 months ago