Over the last few months we’ve seen quite a few companies do what we like to call “the executive shuffle”, including Microsoft.
On June 15, 2006, Microsoft announced that, effective from July of this year, Gates would transition out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and since the beinning of 2008, a fair few other Microsoft employees have also announced their plans to jump ship.
InformationWeek reports that Chief Media Officer of Microsoft’s MSN Media Network, Joanne Bradford ; Corporate VP for Windows Core Technology, Rob short ; the company’s chief of mergers and acquisitions, Bruce Jaffe and President of the Microsoft Business Division, Jeff Raikes all announced their departure from the company. However, shortly after Raikes stepped down from his position as President of the BD, he announced he had been appointed CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
So while Gates is crossing off his last days at Microsoft on his calender, CEO Steve Ballmer has started his own countdown to retirement. At an event in Washington D.C. last Tuesday, Ballmer said he plans to only be at the company for another decade before reitiring himself. Ballmer was quoted as saying he would head Microsoft "for another nine or 10 years ... until my last kid goes away to college."
In the last 28 years Ballmer has headed several Microsoft divisions, including operations, operating systems development, and sales and support (he also made a name for himself with that “developers, developers, developers” speech). In July 1998, he was promoted to President, and two years later, he was appointed CEO.
That announcement in mind, we could see a Ballmer-less Microsoft as soon as 2017, and as we wave goodbye to Bill, we’re already wondering where the next MIcrosoft CEO is going to come from.