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InfoQ Homepage News Steve Ballmer Steps Down as Microsoft’s CEO

Steve Ballmer Steps Down as Microsoft’s CEO

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Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, has announced today his retirement from Microsoft, stepping down from his position within the next 12 months after a new CEO has been chosen. Ballmer said that he would have stepped down anyway, but later, after the current organizational transformation Microsoft is going through has been half completed. He has decided to do it though because “now is the right time.”

A board of directors has been appointed to find a replacement for Ballmer. As a member of this board, Bill Gates has briefly commented:

I’ll work closely with the other members of the board to identify a great new CEO.

Microsoft has not disclosed the reasons behind Ballmer’s abrupt withdraw, but one sentence in their press release could suggest Ballmer is not up to the job in today’s business circumstance:

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. [emphasis mine]

Steve Ballmer has been with Microsoft since 1980, being its first business manager. After several roles as VP of Sales, Support and Marketing, Ballmer took the CEO office from Gates in 2000. One of his last major decisions at Microsoft was a major reshuffle of the organization announced in July. It’s a consolidation that is currently undergoing inside Microsoft aimed to a more coordinated effort in creating and marketing their products. The main problem Microsoft is facing today is losing the start in the mobile space, and having small gains in this market in spite of huge investments. It remains to see who is going to replace Ballmer and what will happen to the company.

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