Steve Ballmer will be retiring as CEO of Microsoft. The long-serving chief, who has been CEO since January 2000, stated that he will step down from his position as soon as a successor has been found.
In an internal email sent to employees, Ballmer spoke of his proudness of having led the company to help “invent and popularize computing and the PC”, and growing the company’s value over 10 times since his arrival at Microsoft in 1980, before succeeding Microsoft founder Bill Gates as CEO in 2000.
Ballmer’s announcement comes at a time of a new organization and strategic transformation for the company, as they move attempt to move ahead in what many consider to be a post-PC era with Windows 8 and the Windows Phone mobile platform.
The next Microsoft CEO will be determined by a special committee overlooking the process, which includes Gates and recruiting firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. The committee will consider both internal and external candidates. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue to perform his duties as CEO until the committee finds the ideal replacement.
Read Steve Ballmer’s internal email in full here.