Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer revealed his plan to leave the company this morning, surprising the marketplace. According to a new piece from BusinessInsider those in the know at Microsoft seem just as surprised about the announcement as everyone else. A former executive interviewed by the web site speculated that something big must have changed at the company.

Microsoft

The BusinessInsider source said “I really don’t know. It’s a huge surprise.  The people I’ve spoken to don’t know what caused the bit to flip either.” With Microsoft insiders at a loss to explain Ballmer’s departure, it takes on a new, and more meaningful, meaning. Something must be changing at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

A new Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced a massive restructuring plan back in July, and according to the BusinessInsider piece, the new company “reorg lined everything up behind Steve and people felt he would stay on to see it through.” He hasn’t and a lot of people are wondering why.

The reorganization was an attempt to better design Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to deal with the changing technology market. The company has had some disappointments in recent months, with sales of its hardware, particularly the Surface RT. The firm’s Xbox division, and Windows Phone business have also had problems in recent months.
 
The BusinessInsider source speculated that there may be further reorganization on the way at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), with a possible split between enterprise and consumer business a likely result. Something big seems to be going on at Microsoft; when information about the company’s CEO search comes out, the direction the company is going in will become clearer.

Microsoft performance

Despite the unexpected nature of the announcement the market seemed to be a big fan of change at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). At time of writing, the firm’s stock was trading at $34.60 per share, up by close to 7% on the day’s trading. So far in 2013, the company’s stock has risen by close to 30%.

The optimism that the market met the surprise announcement with was at least as unexpected as the announcement itself. The search for a new CEO at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will be a dominant factor in determining its share price in the months ahead. Investors looking at the company’s transformation as a good investment will be following the news closely.