Steve Ballmer, CEO Of Microsoft, To Retire Within A Year
August 23, 2013

Steve Ballmer, CEO Of Microsoft, To Retire Within A Year

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive officer (CEO), wrote in a letter to employees on Friday that he would be retiring from his CEO position within twelve months, once the company can find a suitable replacement as his successor.

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

He went on to say that his original plan to retire would've been during the middle of Microsoft's transformation to a devices and services company, but he decided the company needs a CEO who will be there longer term for the new direction. Part of the new direction includes the Windows 8.1 update the company will be making to its operating system, which is designed to work across traditional computers, tablets and smartphones.

"This is a time of important transformation for Microsoft. Our new Senior Leadership team is amazing. The strategy we have generated is first class. Our new organization, which is centered on functions and engineering areas, is right for the opportunities and challenges ahead," the current CEO wrote.

Microsoft has grown from $7.5 million to nearly $78 billion since Ballmer first joined Microsoft back in 1980. He started off as the company's first business manager, and oversaw several key projects such as the launch of the Xbox gaming console and Bing search engine. He was appointed as CEO back in 2000.

Microsoft said in a statement that the Board of Directors has appointed a special committee to direct the hiring process, which will include the company's 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,” said Gates. “We’re fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties.”

Ballmer continued to say in his letter to employees that he looks forward to being able to continue on as "one of Microsoft's largest owners."

"Microsoft has all its best days ahead. Know you are part of the best team in the industry and have the right technology assets. We cannot and will not miss a beat in these transitions. I am focused and driving hard and know I can count on all of you to do the same. Let’s do ourselves proud," Baller said.

According to BBC, Microsoft has more than tripled revenues and doubled profits under Ballmer's leadership.

"I am proud of what we have achieved," Steve wrote. "We have delivered more profit and cash return to shareholders than virtually any other company in history."