News Byte: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Retire within 12 Months

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News Byte: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Retire within 12 Months
News Byte: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Retire within 12 Months

Microsoft announced that CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months, after the Microsoft board of directors chooses a successor.

The board has assembled a special committee to oversee the impending transition. According to a press release, the board is chaired by John Thompson and includes Chairman of the Board Bill Gates, Chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski, and Chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo.

Microsoft stated it will be looking at both internal and external candidates. The announcement of Ballmer's upcoming retirement sent Microsoft stock upward, increasing 9% and within $2 of its high within the last 52 weeks.

Ballmer's tenure as CEO has been tumultuous. Ventures like the Windows Mobile operating system have not garnered widespread uptake (research firm Kantar reported in July that it only had 4% U.S. market share). And while Microsoft's Business Division remains a lynchpin for the company—growing 3% over the last year—key products like Microsoft Dynamics CRM lag in terms of revenue behind competing offerings from Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAP, according to Gartner's “Market Share Analysis: Customer Relationship Management Software, Worldwide 2012” report.

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