Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, after a special committee of the company’s board names a new CEO. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO.
“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 committee to choose a successor will include Microsoft chairman and co-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.”
In early trading, shares of Microsoft (MSFT) moved higher on the news, gaining $2.30 per share to $34.68, a gain of about 7 percent.
We’ll have more to come on this story.