Steve Ballmer To Retire as Microsoft's CEO In The Next Year

In a company wide e-mail published today in the Microsoft News Center, Microsoft's Chief Executive Officer, Steve Ballmer, has announced that he will be retiring as the CEO within the next twelve months, after the company has a chance to choose a successor.

This is a time of important transformation for Microsoft. Our new Senior Leadership team is amazing. The strategy we have generated is first class. Our new organization, which is centered on functions and engineering areas, is right for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Blamer also stated that he is proud of what they nave accomplished in his time at Microsoft, taking the company from $7.5 million to almost $78 billion, and for growing their employee base from 30 to nearly 100,000.

Microsoft's Board of Directors will be putting together a committee, which includes Chairman Bill Gates, to spearhead the search for a replacement.The committee will also be working with an executive recuiting firm that will be considering both internal and external candidates.

We'll bring you more of this story as it unfolds.