In a shocking move on Friday, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, announced that he will be retiring from the company within 12 months. The internal memo distributed to Microsoft employees and then released to the press gave a full detailed plan of his departure.
The announcement is a shock to some and not a surprise to many. The 12 month road map gives the Microsoft board and Steve Ballmer plenty of time to choose a successor to the $78 billion dollar company. This move roughed up the MSFT stock as well.
Company Ballooned From $7.5 Million To $78 Billion
One of the main catch phrases from the memo from Steve Ballmer stated that the company has grown from the 30 staff member days, with revenue growing from $7.5 million to nearly $78 billion. As one of Microsoft’s largest owners of the company, the exit was marked as emotional and difficult and gives many reasons to think about a successor.
Vista Biggest Disappointment
The biggest shocker of the email from Steve Ballmer stated that he thought that Vista was one of the biggest disappointments in his career. As Vista was a consumer bomb, the future releases of Windows helped assure Microsoft’s role in the consumer and enterprise space with its improvements. The memo didn’t detail any other products in it, but the Vista reference was kind of a shocker to those who follow the company closer.
Seattle Bound He Will Stay
The last part of the memo stated that Steve Ballmer plans to stay in Seattle, and will be a major participant along with the Microsoft board to choosing a successor to the company. Whether that person is internal or external is still unknown, but with Microsoft having only two CEO’s in the history, that third could be legendary.
The move by Steve Ballmer shocked some, but some expected this day to come. Microsoft needs a new leader as Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8, and other products come down the roadmap. This new leader needs to focus on the mobile world, realize where the strengths and weaknesses of the company are, and build the future of the Microsoft from there. What is sure is that the 12 month clock starts today.