Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months

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Microsoft's Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months, the company announced today. Ballmer has been with Microsoft since 1980 and was named CEO in 2000. He helped usher in the Xbox era when the tech company entered the game console business in 2001.

"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer said. "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."

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