After 13 years at the helm of one of the largest tech firms in the world, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced that he plans to leave the role in the next 12 months.
Ballmer has overseen a tumultuous period and under his leadership Microsoft has moved from being almost exclusively a producer of software to a major hardware developer in its own right with the introduction of the Microsoft Surface tablet devices.
However, it’s also clear that while Microsoft is still a major force in the industry the company no longer has the monopoly it once did, with other firms such as Apple, Samsung, and Google leading the smartphone and mobile computing market while Microsoft has struggled to make its mark on the handset market, though it looks like things might be looking up for the Windows Phone operating system.
Ballmer has carved out a reputation as an eccentric, renowned for his high energy speeches at conferences and events and despite difficulties the company has faced in the last 13 years, under his leadership revenues have soared from $25 to $70 billion dollars with a net income rose to $23 billion.
Microsoft has not commented on any plans to replace him but you can be sure that speculation will be a hot topic for rumours and gossip over the next year.