Friday, August 23rd 2013

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Retire Within 12 Months

Microsoft Corp. today announced 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."
Add your own comment

74 Comments on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Retire Within 12 Months

#1
JDG1980
Translation: He got fired. Not surprising, since Microsoft's entire Win8/Metro strategy has been a giant flop and has enraged business users (MS's most important customers) and power users.
Posted on Reply
#2
Solidstate89
by: JDG1980
Translation: He got fired. Not surprising, since Microsoft's entire Win8/Metro strategy has been a giant flop and has enraged business users (MS's most important customers) and power users.
Not at all. He's always had Gates' backing and you can't fire Ballmer without Gates being on board due to his control over the board. There have been investors that wanted Steve gone long before this and couldn't be done without Bill's approval.

He's also said he was always going to retire when his youngest kid is in college. Looks like he's stepping down earlier than that though.
Posted on Reply
#3
rtwjunkie
:clap: WooHoo!!! Maybe they'll choose someone with real responsiveness, vision and direction finally!

This is the guy who spelled the end of development of WHS by underfunding each of the two groups developing it, and had them each operate independantly, making any real collaboration with each other or other Microsoft divisions necessary for success a virtual impossibility. And when the community complained and petitioned, he basically said "let them eat cake!", and released what HE felt we needed, not what the customers actually wanted.
Posted on Reply
#4
Mindweaver
Moderato®™
I don't know why everyone thinks that replacing Steve will resolve all the issues with Microsoft. Steve and anybody in his position is controlled by the Investors.
Posted on Reply
#5
birdie
by: Mindweaver
I don't know why everyone thinks that replacing Steve will resolve all the issues with Microsoft. Steve and anybody in his position is controlled by the Investors.
From what I've heard a big group of investors were completely against the W8 desktop/phone strategy, yet it had been greenlit.
Posted on Reply
#6
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
by: Mindweaver
I don't know why everyone thinks that replacing Steve will resolve all the issues with Microsoft. Steve and anybody in his position is controlled by the Investors.
Following the announcement, Microsoft's stock surged. I'm pretty sure that they're more than happy that he is leaving.
Posted on Reply
#7
Wrigleyvillain
PTFO or GTFO
Yes that was the best part of the news alert on my phone.
Posted on Reply
#8
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Does he really want to leave on the sour notes of Windows 8 and Xbone? Talk about leaving at the lowest part of your career...
Posted on Reply
#9
Ferrum Master
Bill come back! :toast:

At least for one windows 9 OS not Vista mk.3, we are stuffed of NT6!!
Posted on Reply
#10
rtwjunkie
by: newtekie1
Does he really want to leave on the sour notes of Windows 8 and Xbone? Talk about leaving at the lowest part of your career...
And don't forget the WHS 2011 debacle. It's three strikes for him...
Posted on Reply
#11
Mindweaver
Moderato®™
by: birdie
From what I've heard a big group of investors were completely against the W8 desktop/phone strategy, yet it had been greenlit.
Hum.. That would change things.. Do you have any links to support that? I'd like to think that's what happened, but I don't know..
Posted on Reply
#12
Solidstate89
by: rtwjunkie
And don't forget the WHS 2011 debacle. It's three strikes for him...
Sorry, that may have been something that you loved to use, but it was not in any sense of the word a "debacle." The amount of users were less than those who used the deprecated Windows Mobile.
Posted on Reply
#13
Ferrum Master
by: rtwjunkie
And don't forget the WHS 2011 debacle. It's three strikes for him...
You forgot the surface fiasco... that's four.
Posted on Reply
#14
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: rtwjunkie
And don't forget the WHS 2011 debacle. It's three strikes for him...
Other than removing Drive Extender, I don't really see any issues with WHS 2011.

by: Ferrum Master
You forgot the surface fiasco... that's four.
I was rolling that into the Windows 8 fiasco.
Posted on Reply
#15
erixx
Whatever whatever, but during Steve's mandate many interesting things happened. MS has changed a lot, not all big blue chip corps manage to do that.

I am loving my new Windows powered Surface RT and Nokia 920, finally my mobile office is working effortlessly and trustworthy!
Posted on Reply
#16
rtwjunkie
by: Solidstate89
Sorry, that may have been something that you loved to use, but it was not in any sense of the word a "debacle." The amount of users were less than those who used the deprecated Windows Mobile.
Huge community on We Got Served (it's all in the record over there) used to work closely with Microsoft. Then WHS 2011 development came around, and the business server team was tasked with developing WHS and the commercial servers, and neither entity was happy. Nor was the team, who was forced to work underfunded almost in a vaccuum, almost guessing what other Windows teams were developing and progressing on (which really is kinda crucial). When the WHS community petitioned Ballmer to address this, as well as to not drop drive extender, he paid lip service and said he'd look ito it, but then did nothing. As a result, a hatchet-jobbed product was delivered. that was then given it's EOL date (2016) a mere year after being released, which is nearly unheard of. It was indeed a debacle that involved more than the simple dropping of DE.
Posted on Reply
#17
tigger
I'm the only one
Investors "dance CEO, dance"
Posted on Reply
#18
Ravenas
by: JDG1980
Translation: He got fired. Not surprising, since Microsoft's entire Win8/Metro strategy has been a giant flop and has enraged business users (MS's most important customers) and power users.
Give me a break. If anything, this retirement package is due to Microsoft's poor performance in the mobile space (tablets and smartphones). 13 years is a long time as a CEO.
Posted on Reply
#19
Solidstate89
by: rtwjunkie
Huge community on We Got Served (it's all in the record over there) used to work closely with Microsoft. Then WHS 2011 development came around, and the business server team was tasked with developing WHS and the commercial servers, and neither entity was happy. Nor was the team, who was forced to work underfunded almost in a vaccuum, almost guessing what other Windows teams were developing and progressing on (which really is kinda crucial). When the WHS community petitioned Ballmer to address this, as well as to not drop drive extender, he paid lip service and said he'd look ito it, but then did nothing. As a result, a hatchet-jobbed product was delivered. that was then given it's EOL date (2016) a mere year after being released, which is nearly unheard of. It was indeed a debacle that involved more than the simple dropping of DE.
It's only a "debacle" for those who used WHS which was less than 1% of all Windows users.

Again, you may hate what happened and I can appreciate you feeling that way. Feeling betrayed by Microsoft basically dropping a product you enjoyed using. But it is no way considered a debacle. No one cares what happened with WHS compared to what's going on with Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows Phone, etc.
Posted on Reply
#20
Prima.Vera
Windows 8, Office 2013, Xbone, Win RT, surfaces, etc..just to many BIG unforgivable errors for Ballmer.
Posted on Reply
#21
Wrigleyvillain
PTFO or GTFO
by: newtekie1
Other than removing Drive Extender, I don't really see any issues with WHS 2011.
I think he is referring to the product being killed?
Posted on Reply
#22
xvi
My girlfriend picked up her Surface Pro on day one and has loved it ever since.

I think the issue with the Surface was with the RT version running what looks like Win8 x86, but since it's on an ARM processor, people get confused as to why it can't run "normal" apps. The iPad has the same issue (I see people trying to use it like a laptop all the time), but it's easier for the average user to understand that it doesn't run normal desktop applications because the UI looks different. While this is technically the user's fault for not bothering to educate themselves, it's also Microsoft's fault for not remembering the golden rule of marketing: People are generally stupid.

I think if Microsoft had done a better job distinguishing the RT from the Pro, it wouldn't have done much better, but it would have ended up with better publicity.

Getting back to the article, Microsoft has survived without Gates and I expect this transition to go without a hitch.
Posted on Reply
#23
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Wrigleyvillain
I think he is referring to the product being killed?
WHS 2011 isn't being killed, they've already said they are going to support it into 2016.
Posted on Reply
#24
AsRock
TPU addict
There is never a perfect time for this type of transition
Now sounds good to me.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment