Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer to retire within a year

Steve Ballmer, who is 57, will retire as chief executive of Microsoft within the next 12 months, once a successor has been chosen.
Ballmer has worked for Microsoft for 33 years and is currently overseeing the transformation of Microsoft into a devices and services company.
“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,” Ballmer said in a statement. “We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.”
Microsoft’s board has appointed a special committee to direct the process of appointing a new CEO. It will consider both external and internal candidates and is working with executive recruiting firm Heidrick & Struggles International, according to the company.
Microsoft’s share price rose around 9pc in pre-market trading and was up 7.5 per cent at $35 (£22) in early trades. Ballmer owns 4pc of the company, making his stake worth some $12bn.
Ballmer joined Microsoft in June 1980 and became Microsoft’s 30th employee – the first business manager hired by former chief executive and current chairman Bill Gates.