Microsoft CEO Ballmer: Retirement decision ’emotional and difficult’

The tech giant announced today that its CEO will step down within the next 12 months after 33 years at the company.

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In a letter to employees, Ballmer said the reason for his decision is that the company needs a CEO who can stay “longer term” while it transforms into “a devices and services company.”

Further down in the letter, he added:

The announcement came as a surprise to many, and has generated quite a range of reactions.

Tripp Frohlichstein of Media Masters Training says sending the announcement as a direct communication from Ballmer was a good move on MIcrosoft’s part, though he has some hesitation about the reasons given for Ballmer’s planned departure.

“After all, Ballmer is 57 and easily could have continued for several more years as the company “transitioned” into a new focus,” he says.

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