Microsoft has announced today that (Friday 23 August 2013)CEO Steve Ballmer is to retire within 12 months and its board has begun looking for a successor.
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The board's director John Thompson is to lead a committee to find a new CEO. The committee includes founder and board chairman Bill Gates and will consider internal and external candidates.
Thompson said his committee is focused on selecting a new CEO to work with the company’s senior leadership team to chart the company’s course in a highly competitive industry.
The news comes six weeks after Microsoft announced a major executive re-organisation as part of plans to re-invent Microsoft with a big push to develop hardware from phones to set-top boxes, as it attempts to remain relevant in the era of IT consumerisation.
“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 organisation and we have an amazing senior leadership team.”
Ballmer said that, with the company’s transformation to a devices and services company, it needs a CEO who will be around in the longer term for this new direction.