NEW YORK -- Microsoft says CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months. The world's biggest software company did not name a successor.
The company said in a press release that Ballmer will continue to lead the company as it switches its focus toward devices and services.
“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,” Ballmer said in a statement. “We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. 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 has been CEO since 2000. A committee that includes Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will conduct the search for a successor.
“As a member of the succession planning committee, I’ll work closely with the other members of the board to identify a great new CEO,” said Gates. “We’re fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties.”
Microsoft Corp.'s stock is up sharply in premarket trading following the announcement.