Nothing says change like announcing retirement from an employer, after 33 years of work. Sadly, for Steve Ballmer who made this announcement, Wall Street rejoiced. Upon the release of Ballmer’s retirement plans, Microsoft’s stock price climbed to over 6 percent. There has been no word of replacements for Ballmer, which explains why he will remain in position for the next 12 months, until a successor is hired.
Bill Gates sang praises of the boisterous Ballmer, thankful for his service over the last few decades. Right now, executives are stating the move is voluntary; with this admission comes the possibility a needed change was required. The Seattle Times sat down with the bigger than life Ballmer, who assured his move wasn’t forced. Then again it was Ballmer who had stated some years back he wouldn’t retire until his youngest son went to college. His youngest is still in high-school, but Ballmer felt now was the time. Ballmer told the Seattle Times now is the time to start selecting a new CEO, since Microsoft is in the midst of transition.
Ballmer did leave an impressionable and revolutionary mark in the industry. Granted, the last 10 years have been filled with strife, especially with larger contenders like Apple and Samsung in the mobile market. Windows has continued to lose footing in that market, even after the release of incredible devices like the Nokia Lumia 920 and 1020. The reorganization process has been rumored for sometime and with the release of the final tie- Ballmer, Wall Street enthralled in this move.
Microsoft started early this summer with the idea of implementing a new wave of approach. The tech giant wants to bring a stronger focus to devices and services, especially with the continued decline of PC sales. Ballmer was the backbone of those PC sales, he pushed through a market when software was just a weird word, tossed among the intellectual minds of developers only. As the market is shifting to mobile devices and business services; such as clouding services, and even Mac/iPhone compatibility- a new change also means looking to the top.
Ten years ago, Ballmer took over the CEO reins from Bill Gates and since that time, Microsoft started experiencing a slippery rut. Certainly, Ballmer isn’t to blame, the market just changed and with all things technology- it moves fast! Microsoft wasn’t the only company to face the sudden round-house kick of mobile devices; HP and Dell have also suffered terrible losses. The tool of innovation requires a broad stroke, a familiar one and a bold one.
Ballmer is bold, and he is familiar, but it seems with the numbers, it just failed to impress in the mobile and business markets. Expanding business applications- especially in cloud embracing, is a move Microsoft needs to take to stay ahead. They have developed a concept unlike any other and now it’s time to branch that innovation. If anyone can do it, it can be stated this flexible and highly influential company can do it. Wall Street has spoken with the raised stock prices upon Ballmer’s announcement. Microsoft is entering a new age of technology, and it can only be imagined it will be something to watch for.