(The Hosting News) – Big news in the world of Windows: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will depart the world’s largest software company within the next year.
The company announced the move on Friday, noting that it had set up a special committee with its board of directors to help select Microsoft’s next leader. On that selection board is none other than company founder Bill Gates.
“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,” commented Gates in a press release.
Ballmer, age 57, had served as CEO since 2000 when Gates stepped down to focus on his foundation.
While lesser known than Gates, Ballmer has been a longtime Microsoft veteran, first joining the tech giant in 1980 as its 30th employee. “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 stated.
Ballmer’s tenure will conclude during a tumultuous time for Microsoft. The company’s latest operating system, Windows 8, has struggled compared to previous OS launches like Windows 7.
According to a New York Times report, stock in Microsoft had risen 6% to $34.32 in afternoon trading following the announcement.