Microsoft to get a new CEO, Steve Ballmer to retire

23 Aug 2013

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft

Steve Ballmer is to retire as Microsoft’s CEO within the next 12 months, as the tech behemoth works to transform itself from a software provider to a devices and services company.

Ballmer, who is expected to retire when his successor is chosen, said he had been thinking about calling it a day in the midst of Microsoft changing its focus.

“We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction,” Ballmer said.

“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organisation and we have an amazing senior leadership team.”

Microsoft’s board of directors has appointed a special committee to lead the search for Ballmer’s successor. The group is working with Heidrick & Struggles International Inc, an executive recruiting firm, and will consider both external and internal candidates.

John Thompson, chairman of the board, said the board members 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”.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic