Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire

The electronics giant and Xbox firm has announced that CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months.

Ballmer will retain his position until a successor is chosen, after which he will leave Microsoft.

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

"We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organisation and we have an amazing senior leadership team.

"My original thoughts on time would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our companys transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction."

Chairman of the Board and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates added: "As a member of the succession planning committee, I’ll work closely with the other members of the board to identify a great new CEO.

"We’re fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties."

Ballmer became CEO of Microsoft back in January 2000.

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