Steve Ballmer Retiring As Microsoft CEO

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There are big changes on the horizon for one of the world's largest corporations. CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, just announced that he will retire from his position within the next 12 months. As soon as a successor is in place, Ballmer will step down, citing the company's change in direction. "There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer said. He added, "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."

It's a fair point, but still a shock to industry insiders, as Ballmer's name has been linked to Microsoft since it's inception. He first met Bill Gates while living down the hall from him in a Harvard dormitory. They first ran the corporation together, then Ballmer took over on his own when Gates stepped down in 2000. Still, as the company restructures, investors have been rumbling about Ballmer stepping down for years. In fact, once he made the announcement, the company's stock suddenly began to rise. Change may not be easy, but this is just another reminder that it's necessary. (ABC)

steve-ballmer Photo: via ABC