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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months
Microsoft Corp. announced Aug.23, 2013 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.”
Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 and was the company’s first business manager. Before becoming CEO in 2000, his roles at Microsoft included senior vice president of sales and support, senior vice president of systems software and vice president of marketing. Under his leadership, Microsoft has more than tripled revenue and doubled profits since 2000.
Ballmer was born in March 1956, and he grew up near Detroit where his father worked as a manager at Ford Motor Co. Ballmer earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Harvard University. He worked for two years at Procter & Gamble Co. as an assistant product manager and attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business before joining Microsoft.
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