Bombshell from Microsoft: Ballmer to Leave Company Within 12 Months as New CEO Sought

Aug 23, 2013  •  Post A Comment

"[Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer, 57, plans to step down within 12 months, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said today in a statement," reports Bloomberg.

The story continues, "The company’s lead independent director, John Thompson, will oversee the search for his successor, heading a committee that will also include Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Investors applauded the move, sending the shares up as much as 8.7 percent to the highest intraday price since 2009.

"Ballmer’s move reflects the changes roiling the computing industry his company helped pioneer. Microsoft, which supplies the software running most PCs, lost almost half its value on Ballmer’s watch. The stock hasn’t closed above $50 since his first year on the job amid competition from Google, Apple and Facebook in everything from tablets to the Web."

Ballmer became Microsoft’s CEO when Bill Gates left the company in 2000. Various media reports says Gates in not a candidate to return to replace Ballmer.

Bloomberg also notes, "Microsoft last month reported quarterly profits and sales that missed analysts’ estimates. The company’s latest computing operating system, Windows 8, also hasn’t spurred the comeback that Ballmer was aiming for. In April, activist investor ValueAct Holdings LP disclosed a stake of about $1.9 billion in Microsoft, pushing the software maker to consider giving the shareholder a board seat.

“ ‘[Ballmer’s] become a lightning rod for frustration over Microsoft’s lack of progress in mobile and Windows 8,’ said Richard Williams, an analyst at Cross Research in Millburn, New Jersey."

steve ballmer.jpgSteve Ballmer

One Comment

  1. No surprise. The tablet (Microsoft calls it “Surface” but it may as well have been named the “ZunePad”) was a colossal failure and Microsoft made too many for such light demand. Windows 8 is being retooled to appeal to people who hate progress is it requires they learn something new. Maybe they should have had two different Windows 8 products, one for fogey desktop users and one for tablet/phone users).

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