Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer calls it quits, to retire within a year

in General Discussion edited March 2014
Microsoft announced on Friday that its chief executive Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months, once his successor has been chosen, bringing to an end a 13-year reign over the software giant.


Ballmer's tenure was a profitable but tumultuous period in which Microsoft pushed into new markets beyond the PC, but also saw its stronghold in smartphones give way to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android. Microsoft has also struggled in recent years against Apple's iPad, which has been eating away at traditional PC sales.

"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer said in a statement. "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."

Microsoft's Board of Directors have set up a special committee that will find Ballmer's successor. That committee includes former CEO and company founder Bill Gates.

"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," Gates said. "We?re fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties."

Microsoft's struggles under Ballmer in smartphones and more recently in PC sales have been a point of contention, with the company's board going as far as to criticize the CEO in late 2011. Since then, sales of Apple's iPhone and iPad have continued to grow, while Microsoft's Windows Phone platform and Surface tablets have floundered.

Microsoft began building its own tablets with the launch of Surface last fall, but the company was forced to take a $900 million charge on unsold inventory this year. And the Windows Phone platform accounted for just 3.3 percent of smartphones sold in the second quarter of calendar 2013, according to the latest data from research firm Gartner.

The Ballmer era at Microsoft did usher in the company's Xbox gaming console lineup, which became a major success with its second-generation model, the Xbox 360. The company hopes to gain an even stronger foothold in the living room with the launch of the next-generation Xbox One console this fall.


  • Reply 1 of 330
    great... Now we have a farewell tour to look forward to.
  • Reply 2 of 330
    nikiloknikilok Posts: 383member
    Is this retirement forced retirement. Or Balmer just had enough ?
  • Reply 3 of 330
    icarbonicarbon Posts: 196member

    with luck, maybe the new CEO will figure out how to make that company produce software people actually want to own...


    here's hoping anyway

  • Reply 4 of 330
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    "Retire." Gotta keep up appearances. Big question is will Bill come back to bring the ship back on course. Or has Ballmer already run it aground on a reef?
  • Reply 5 of 330
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,942member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    "Retire." Gotta keep up appearances. Big question is will Bill come back to bring the ship back on course. Or has Ballmer already run it aground on a reef?

    I can't imagine Gates would take over at CEO again. He's got a lot more interests in his life now than micromanaging Microsoft.
  • Reply 6 of 330
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    Thanks for ruining the weekend Baller ¡
  • Reply 7 of 330
    I'll always remember the good times: stomping on iPhones, throwing chairs, sweaty armpits, and competing directly against their hardware partners.
  • Reply 8 of 330

    Another Microsoft winner to go up on the shelf, right next to Clippy, Ribbon, Zune and Surface.


  • Reply 9 of 330
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    With as many missteps as Ballmer has had his greatest success and his legacy will probably rest on the ingenious Office 365.

    In reality it's terrible for consumers but its the only thing that will keep Microsoft afloat for the next decade. If only Ballmer had put more focus in software than his various failed hardware endeavors Microsoft would be in a much better position than they are now.
  • Reply 10 of 330
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,399member
    Will Microsoft be able to recover from 13 years of this guy's idiotic control.
    Answer: no, not now Apple is on the scene showing people how it's done.
  • Reply 11 of 330
    I'm sure the retirement is as much his initiative as was Scott Forstall's
  • Reply 12 of 330
    stuffestuffe Posts: 394member

    Now the real reason Forstall was ousted is clear...


    Expect Windows 9 to be all about the quilted 'fluffy' design...

  • Reply 13 of 330
    Scott Forstall anyone?
  • Reply 14 of 330
    nikiloknikilok Posts: 383member

    ill remember his in-famous crazy dance chanting "DEVELOPER DEVELOPER DEVELOPER DEVELOPER"..

    And him saying "Today Microsoft sells millions of windows phones, Apple sells ZERO iPhones..." (back in 2007, when apple launched the iPhone)


    The guy truly lacked vision of the future.

  • Reply 15 of 330
    tokoloshtokolosh Posts: 101member
    Check out MSFT stock. There's an ego boost for Ballmer.
  • Reply 16 of 330
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,876member
    Market is happy. Pre-market up 9%.
  • Reply 17 of 330
    Elop on the way up maybe......?
  • Reply 18 of 330
    jax44jax44 Posts: 79member
  • Reply 19 of 330
    Being apple fan,i like this guy
    He have guts to defend his company,regardless the state of his company.
    Missing:'( developer developer developer....
  • Reply 20 of 330
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,876member
    m0c0s0 wrote: »
    Scott Forstall anyone?

    There's someone who'll relish the job with a vengeance!
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