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Say goodbye to Microsoft's exuberant leader

To say that Microsoft has been in a "holding position" for the past few years would be an understatement. The company has floundered in its smartphone efforts (Kin, Windows Phone), utterly failed in its tablet efforts (Surface RT/Surface Pro), and has taken heavy flak for Windows 8. Even its upcoming Xbox One console has come under heavy criticism (to be fair, Microsoft has backpedaled on some of the major sticking points).
For years, everyone has been pointing fingers at Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and it appears that the big man himself sees the writing on the wall. Microsoft released a statement today indicating that Steve Ballmer will step down within the next 12 months. During that time, Microsoft's Board of Directors has been tasked with finding his successor.
"The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company," John Thompson, committee chairman. "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."
For his part, here's Ballmer in his own words:
I am writing to let you know that I will retire as CEO of Microsoft within the next 12 months, after a successor is chosen. There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction. You can read the press release on Microsoft News Center.
This is a time of important transformation for Microsoft. Our new Senior Leadership team is amazing. The strategy we have generated is first class. Our new organization, which is centered on functions and engineering areas, is right for the opportunities and challenges ahead.
Microsoft is an amazing place. I love this company. I love the way we helped invent and popularize computing and the PC. I love the bigness and boldness of our bets. I love our people and their talent and our willingness to accept and embrace their range of capabilities, including their quirks. I love the way we embrace and work with other companies to change the world and succeed together. I love the breadth and diversity of our customers, from consumer to enterprise, across industries, countries, and people of all backgrounds and age groups.
I am proud of what we have achieved. We have grown from $7.5 million to nearly $78 billion since I joined Microsoft, and we have grown from employing just over 30 people to almost 100,000. I feel good about playing a role in that success and having committed 100 percent emotionally all the way. We have more than 1 billion users and earn a great profit for our shareholders. We have delivered more profit and cash return to shareholders than virtually any other company in history.
I am excited by our mission of empowering the world and believe in our future success. I cherish my Microsoft ownership, and look forward to continuing as one of Microsoft's largest owners.
This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the company I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most.
Microsoft has all its best days ahead. Know you are part of the best team in the industry and have the right technology assets. We cannot and will not miss a beat in these transitions. I am focused and driving hard and know I can count on all of you to do the same. Let's do ourselves proud.

Ballmer’s resignation will mark the penultimate phase of Microsoft’s restructuring efforts that began earlier this year with some executive shuffling. The final phase, of course, will be the naming of Ballmer’s successor.

We're gonna miss old Steve. He may be gone from Microsoft within the next year, but his antics will live on in cyberspace:

Source: Microsoft

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Retire? More like ousted.
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2013 12:37:35 PM , Rating: 5
It should be obvious to everyone following Microsoft for the past several years that they've lost their direction, and that direction was being controlled by Ballmer.

He had a very bull-headed management style where he basically tried to bully consumers and other companies to move in the direction that Microsoft wanted them to move. It didn't work. The same thing that happened to IBM in the 1980s happened to Microsoft now. You simply cannot move the entire industry in the direction that would be most profitable for you. The industry isn't going to follow you- it's going to move in its own direction and you better cater to it or it's going to leave you behind.

I think that when a company leads the pack for so long it begins to believe that the pack is following it, but the pack isn't. Instead, that company is just the strongest member of that pack for a long period of time. It would be like the leader of the Tour de France looking back and seeing everyone behind him, and then deciding that since they're following him he's going to start leading them through roads that he'd prefer to ride on. Nope, doesn't work that way- they're going to keep following the path that the fans and organizers chose for them.

By retrospooty on 8/23/2013 12:45:02 PM , Rating: 4
Very well said.

Good riddance Ballmer. The mobile revolution nearly passed you by. Hopefully MS can recover from the damage of your lack of vision.

RE: Retire? More like ousted.
By Jeffk464 on 8/23/2013 6:00:02 PM , Rating: 2
funny analogy, I approve

RE: Retire? More like ousted.
By NanoTube1 on 8/24/2013 7:03:26 AM , Rating: 2
Very true, well said.

By Captain Awesome on 8/24/2013 1:29:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well said, but I'm more than a little disappointed you chose to compare them with bike racing yet didn't work in steroids and missing testicles somehow.

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