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Steve Ballmer is Stepping Down from Microsoft

  +Follow August 23, 2013 11:00AM
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Steve Ballmer has been quite a divisive CEO since he took the reins of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) from founder Bill Gates in 2000. While Ballmer oversaw successes like the XP Windows operating system, under his guidance the company has struggled to keep up in both the tablet/smartphone market and search, two of the fastest growing components of tech.

Microsoft’s tablet the Surface has been a big disappointment, and Bing has been one of the highest profile flops in the entire tech sector. Microsoft’s attempt to compete with Google, Inc. (GOOG) in search has cost the company around $11 billion.

Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 as their first business manager. He became good friends with Gates, and made an unlikely ascent to the head of the company in 2000, when Gates stepped down but stayed on as a “chief software architect” before fully turning the reins over to Ballmer in 2006.

Since assuming total control of the financial and technical developments of Microsoft, Ballmer has been implicated in breeding a divisive, toxic company culture that encouraged departments to compete against one another. The company has attempted to rectify this major issue with the introduction of their “One Microsoft” reorganization initiative.

But what apparently pleases investors more than undoing what Microsoft had become under Ballmer is the very idea that Ballmer will soon be gone enitrely. Immediately following Ballmer’s announcement, Microsoft’s stock skyrocketed.

The stock is up 6.85 percent to hit $34.61 a share.

(image of Steve Ballmer courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

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