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Old 08-23-2013, 11:28 AM   #1
jeremy
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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months


Quote:
REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 23, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. 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.

“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,” Ballmer said. “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 Board of Directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process. This committee 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.”
Official Press Release...

--jeremy
 
Old 08-23-2013, 12:16 PM   #2
jeremy
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Follow up from Business Insider...:

Quote:
MICROSOFT INSIDER: "It's A Total Shocker... Something Big Must Have Changed"

There is a massive technology shift happening, the world of cloud and devices, and whoever leads the company next needs to paint an inspiring vision of the future for Microsoft. There are amazingly talented people at the company, who will respond to great leadership.

Perhaps Bill [Gates] and the board have come to believe the company should be split into two, consumer and enterprise? I'm not sure anyone could do a better job than Steve under current circumstances. The problem is beyond hard, it may be intractable. Not sure how anyone can manage both an enterprise business and a consumer business when both are changing so fast.

The last sentiment--that the problem is "beyond hard" and "may be intractable"--is one that other long-time Microsoft observers share.

The technology wave that Microsoft surfed almost perfectly for three decades has run its course, and it has been replaced by new waves that Microsoft no longer dominates.
--jeremy
 
Old 08-23-2013, 10:00 PM   #3
frankbell
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I love the reference to "Microsoft no longer dominates" with no reference to how it managed to attain domination.
 
Old 08-23-2013, 10:13 PM   #4
ozar
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My guess is that it's likely a forced retirement, but we may never know for sure.
 
Old 08-24-2013, 07:24 PM   #5
frankbell
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I agree, ozar. The man has too much ego to go quietly into the night.

The story I read (San Jose Mercury-News, I think) said that MS stock went up 9 points after the announcement.
 
  


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