Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months as BoD initiates succession process

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

176 Comments

    1. I cried! I panicked! Then I felt a little better since he has 12 months to screw up some more. Hopefully he will train the new person coming in on how to be a BALLMSMEAR!

      1. That’s “within” 12 months… If it take Microsoft a full year to appoint a new CEO, purge the existing “leadership team,” and change direction, they are dead. That would mean Windows 8 continues on (and continues to hinder PC sales), with no replacement in the works. That would mean a round of planned updates for Surface and Surface Pro, and even more losses from unsold inventory.

        Here’s my guess for what happens next…

        * The urgency of the situation requires Ballmer be removed sooner, rather than later.

        * While the search for a new CEO continues, Bill Gates steps in as the interim CEO (the “iCEO”).

        * Gates later announces that the search for a new CEO has failed to find a suitable candidate, and he will take over as the permanent CEO, to save the company he founded.

        Microsoft, copying Apple to the very end… 🙂

        1. I was actually thinking Bill Gates might try to pull a Steve Jobs and come back and take over Microsoft, but then again, I don’t think Bill Gates did that much for Microsoft the first time around, so the board might not be as willing to take him back. 😉

            1. Ballmer stepping down is an admission Bill Gates was wrong from day-one.

              I could care less if Bill Gates invented the computer, he will forever be Paul Allen’s dumbest choice to run Microsoft and Mrs. Gate’s little boy Billy chose Steve Ballmer as the best man to lead Microsoft into the 21st Century.

              I think he ran it in the ground and Bill Gates now knows, Microsoft will have to limp into port for a major overhaul.

              Imagine the massive bilge pumps needed to clear the excrement from the hull of that obese boat that has been adrift since 1995.

              Remember Windows 95 and that whole billion-dollar campaign to celebrate what an amazing man Bill Gates was?

              wow. Bill Gates. his name is appropriate isn’t it?

              Got computer problems? Bill Gates, he always pays his debts.

        2. Ray Ozzie is Microsoft’s best hope, IMO.

          Gates returning to Microsoft makes about as much sense as Paula Dean chairing the NAACP; both are so out of touch with one another they can’t even communicate anymore. Ballmer, like Steve Jobs, was a salesman, but unlike Jobs, Ballmer lacked any imagination whatsoever. He was pig.

          If Ozzie returns, he’ll build the first desktop computer bearing the Microsoft logo running Microsoft Windows and finally Enterprise will move off of XP Pro and Windows Sleven.

          The Veterans Administration of our government runs on Windows XP Pro!!!

          Like Alan Kay said, and Steve Jobs proved; hardware & software designed by the same company yields not only superior products, but is a much better business model for a consumer-centric company like Apple, Inc.

          Microsoft needs a dramatic transformation and not a line of products that are redesigned failures of Ballmer’s past. Those products failed because the formula was Function Follows Form.

          Anyway, any of the people making their exodus in the last five-years probably told Ballmer to his face, he was wrong. They’re gone, but now Steve is too, so why wouldn’t the BoD embrace that talent pool?

    2. KEEPING THIS THE TOP STORY?
      silly… MDN wanted Ballmer to remain CEO forever.

      Plus, everyone knows Microsoft is doing really poorly on Surface and Windows 8
      as the PC market falls another 6 feet under each year.

      1. I expected nothing less from Steve Jack.

        No profound comments about the future of Apple’s greatest nemesis, just more childish comments that do nothing to advance the topic at hand, but only serve to provide humor at the expense of yet another American company?

        Bad for Apple, perhaps. But Microsoft is good for America, MDN. Let’s hope they appoint someone you can get behind, so we don’t have to participate in your Rush Limbaugh style of media service.

        In other words, why don’t you stop the MDN Take altogether, if all you do with it is ridicule?

    1. Where is the succession plan? When Steve jobs was ill all the pundits could bitch about was the lack of a public succession plan for Apple. The fact that Microsoft now has to begin a search for a CEO is appalling. Stupid is as stupid does. It doesn’t surprise me that this incompetent boob has failed in even the most basic function of a CEO.

  1. Before getting notified about this post, here’s the CNN breaking news text message I got:

    “Microsoft says CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within 12 months. No successor named. Stock surges.”

    😀

        1. Did the 360 really do that badly? I know the PS3 was kind of slow getting out of the gate, basically because their launch price was astronomical, and so the 360 was able to gain ground really quickly. Did the PS3 eventually make that up? I know I went with the 360 since it was less expensive. (plus I have an interest in game design, and let’s face it – as bad as Windows is, it’s easier to port from Windows into XBox SDK than into PS3. 😉 )

          1. They didn’t do that bad, but even with a year head start PS3 now outsold it by a half million (vgchartz.com). However Apple is selling almost more iOS devices in a quarter than Xbox 360 in a lifetime, at a much higher price.

        1. Speaking of that particular piece of anatomy, I recall reading about some sort of uncommon neurological condition that causes those with it to unconsciously stick out their tongue.

          I wonder if Ballmer has it as I’ve never seen anyone, ever, stick out their tongue like he has in so many photos.

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