Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Steve Ballmer, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, explained his reasons for stepping down from the coveted post after serving as the CEO for 13 long years.Steve Ballmer

Ballmer was asked to speed things up

The software giant could not match the pace of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in significant consumer markets though it did lock in solid revenue from its software segment. Ballmer tried to convey a plan to speed things, but a director commented that he was acting too slowly.

“Hey, dude, let’s get on with it,” lead director John Thompson says he told him. “We’re in suspended animation.” Mr. Ballmer says he replied that he could move faster, but the nudge may have been enough to force Ballmer think about his role in the company.

The board of directors agreed with Ballmer’s decision, and holds the view that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) should take ahead its software business along with reshuffling its management structure, and focus more on mobile devices and online services to grow profitably in the future, and lower dependence on the declining PC market. However, the only problem was the speed.

Mr. Thompson, a longtime technology executive who heads the board’s CEO-search committee said that Ballmer was not pushed to step down from his position, but the board did push him to increase the pace of bringing in the changes.

New CEO must explore new areas

Along with the board, investors were also curious to see the transformation. “At this critical juncture, Wall Street wants new blood to bring fundamental change,” says Brent Thill, a Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) analyst at UBS AG. The analyst added that Steve was a remarkable leader, who benefited the company by earning profits and market share in the commercial business, but the next CEO should push for development in the areas where Steve missed, like phone, tablet, Internet services and wearable.

Microsoft needs new leader

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) went into further turmoil after Ballmer decided to step down, in August, and hunt for the new CEO began. Appointing a CEO in place of Ballmer, who has been with the company for 33 years, is a difficult task.

While speaking in respect of his resignation, Ballmer said that apparently he is an emblem of an old era and should step down. “As much as I love everything about what I’m doing,” he says, “the best way for Microsoft to enter a new era is a new leader who will accelerate change.”

Names that are being considered for the position of the next CEO at Microsoft are former Nokia Corp. CEO Stephen Elop, Microsoft enterprise-software chief Satya Nadella and Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally, among others.