Microsoft CEO to Retire in Next 12 Months

Authored bycascade

Steve Ballmer will be retiring as Microsoft CEO in the next 12 months.

Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 as its 30th employee and has held the CEO reigns at Microsoft since January of 2000. Under Ballmer’s tenure, revenue grew from $25 billion to $75 billion, and the company is well diversified with continued strong growth in business software. Microsoft is also going through an enormous transition from on-premises software to cloud based offerings – a metamorphosis that every long standing Fortune 500 software company is having to grapple with.

Despite these successes, the company has failed in much of the consumer segment. It’s not as though Microsoft didn’t see smartphone and tablet trends coming. As far back as 2000, Microsoft was releasing Windows CE and Pocket PC operating systems and partnering with HP/Compaq on devices such as the iPAQ (you read that name right) PIM, and later, smartphones. Microsoft was also trying their hand in tablet computing as early as 2004 with Windows XP Tablet Edition. But the devices failed to excite and Microsoft’s efforts have been swept aside by Apple and Google.

Tablets and smartphones have been so transformational that Microsoft’s Window’s PC operating system and, to a lesser extent, Office, are now under threat – a fact not helped by Microsoft’s disastrous release of Windows 8.

Microsoft’s next CEO will inherit enormous assets but Microsoft has hit a stall point in its PC business. Historically, companies (or at least businesses in companies) don’t recover from that.

For a great read on the topic of “Stall Points”, I recommend:

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