Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced today. Ballmer will retire once he is done appointing his successor as next CEO of the company, until then Ballmer will continue with his duties as the CEO.


Microsoft needs a new CEO for longer term

Ballmer said, “There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time.” He added that the company has a new strategy and a new organization along with amazing senior leadership team.  A CEO who can be here for  alonger term for the new direction needs to be appointed, said Ballmer.

In his memo, Ballmer wrote that he is proud of what he has achieved. He said that the company has grown from $7.5 million to approximately $78 billion since he joined Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and employees have increased from just 30 to around 100,000. He also added that he felt good about being a part of that success. Ballmer stated that the company has 1 billion users and earns a sound profit for its shareholders. Microsoft has distributed more profit and cash return to shareholders than virtually any other company in history, he added.

A special committee will choose the next CEO

A special committee has been formed by the Board of Directors to take the process further. John Thompson, the board’s lead independent director, will be heading the committee. Other members of the committee are Chairman of the Board Bill Gates, Chairman of Audit committee Chuck Noski and Chair of Compensation Committee Steve Luczo. The special committee  will be assisted by Heidrick & Struggles International Inc., a leading executive recruiting firm, which will assess internal, as well as, external candidates.

Thompson said that the board will ensure that the transition is effective and will continue to mold Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) into a successful device and service company.

Bill Gates said that he will cooperate with other members of the board to appoint a new CEO. He also said that the company is fortunate to have Ballmer in this role until a new CEO is found.

Ballmer's Farewell Letter
Ballmer’s Farewell Letter