Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months


Ballmer said he is leaving to make way for a leader who can stay with Microsoft throughout its transformation to a devices and services company

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer is to retire in the next 12 months, saying the manufacturer needs a new leader for its upcoming “transformation”.

Ballmer joined the Windows Phone 8 creator’s senior leadership team in 1980, replacing CEO Bill Gates in 2000.

During his time leading the company he has overseen the creating of its mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8 and the launch of the Surface brand of tablet computers.

In a statement on his departure Ballmer said Microsoft needs a CEO who will stay with the company throughout its transformation to one which focuses on “devices and services”.

“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,” he said.

Microsoft has appointed a committee, which includes founder Bill Gates, to oversee the appointment of a new CEO.

The news of Ballmer’s departure had a positive impact on Microsoft’s share prices, which rose around 9 per cent.