Well, it’s finally happened. Microsoft’s Board of Directors finally awoke from their collective coma.

Microsoft’s press release, verbatim:

Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most.

“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 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.”

5 Ballmers

The Board of Directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process. This committee is chaired by John Thompson, the board’s lead independent director, and includes Chairman of the Board Bill Gates, Chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and Chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo. The special committee is working with Heidrick & Struggles International Inc., a leading executive recruiting firm, and will consider both external and internal candidates.

“The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company,” Thompson said. “As this work continues, we are focused on selecting a new CEO to work with the company’s senior leadership team to chart the company’s course and execute on it in a highly competitive industry.”

“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.”

Source: Microsoft Corp.

MacDailyNews Take: Steve BallmerYeah, Monkey Boy “decided” to leave. Riiight. “To spend more time with his family,” surely.

Today we begin the hopefully long – as long as it takes™ – goodbye to the king of tech comedy fodder.

Ballmer T. Clown’s “original thoughts on timing” were to ride the Windows/Office monopolies for as long as he possibly could, until everyone realized he had no earthly idea what to do besides be repeatedly, unmercifully steamrolled by Steve Jobs’ Apple.

Mission accomplished, Uncle Fester!

The luckiest dorm assignment in the history of the universe has finally run out of luck.

So, in a nutshell: Ballmer plowed the S.S. Microtanic straight into the iceberg and then the BoD finally woke up long enough to decide to plop him into the nearest lifeboat. Bravo! The perfect ending to big dummy’s reign of incompetence. Of course, he’d never go down with the ship.

For as long as it took – and then some. A moment of silence, please.

(Psst: Hire Forstall. He can put curtains in the Windows.)

Related articles:
The irrelevance of beleaguered Microsoft – July 26, 2013
Former Xbox manager: To save Microsoft, Ballmer and thousands of others must go – June 15, 2013
Microsoft CEO Ballmer crashes and burns in final CES keynote – January 10, 2012
Microsoft CEO Ballmer laughs at Apple iPhone – January 17, 2007
Steve Jobs: Apple almost ruined by ‘sales guys’ in mid-90’s – January 25, 2004