Steve Ballmer to step down as Microsoft CEO

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has revealed he will retire within the next 12 months.

Ballmer said that a new CEO was needed to drive the company forward following his announcement that there would be a “far reaching realignment of the company.”

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

“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 Board of Directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process, chaired by John Thompson with input from Bill Gates, Chuck Noski and Steve Luczo.

Microsoft appears to be looking outside the company for Ballmer’s replacement, having hired recruitment specialists Heidrick & Struggles International.

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