[QODLink]
Americas

Steve Ballmer to retire as Microsoft CEO

Software firm's shares jump almost nine percent after its chief executive announced his retirement in 12 months time.

Last Modified: 23 Aug 2013 21:54
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Ballmer took over as CEO in 2000 from co-founder Bill Gates, a classmate from Harvard University [File: AFP]

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has announced he will retire within 12 months, opening a new chapter for a company struggling to keep pace with the fast-changing technology sector.

Microsoft shares leapt as much as nine percent in pre-market trade and closed up 7.3 percent at $34.76, after the surprise announcement sparked a rally in the stock.

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

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

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

"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."

Ballmer took over as CEO in 2000 from co-founder Bill Gates, a classmate and friend from their days at Harvard University in the 1970s.

When Ballmer took over, Microsoft was the undisputed technology sector leader, and the world's largest company in market value.

But in recent years it has struggled as consumers began to move from desktop and laptop PCs to mobile devices.

While its Windows software is used on the vast majority of personal computers, Microsoft has had little impact in the fast-growing segments of tablets and smartphones.

Ballmer, 57, will continue in the interim as CEO "and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company," a company statement said.

The board of directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process chaired by independent director John Thompson and including Gates, Chuck Noski and Steve Luczo.

Microsoft said it is working with Heidrick & Struggles International, an executive recruiting firm, and will consider both external and internal candidates.

321

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.