“I am writing to let you know that I will retire as CEO of Microsoft within the next 12 months, after a successor is chosen. There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.”
This news comes on the heels of Ballmer’s “far-reaching realignment of the company” announcement in July.
Ballmer has been with Microsoft since 1980 when he became the company’s 30th employee. He took over as CEO when Bill Gates stepped down in early 2000.