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Steve Ballmer departs from Microsoft board after 34 years of service

08/19, 4:41pm

Outgoing Ballmer to spend time with Los Angeles Clippers, teaching

Steve Ballmer has stepped down his position as Microsoft board member, six months after being replaced as CEO by Satya Nadella. In a letter to the current CEO, the former leader advises that he is departing "effective immediately," citing his involvement with teaching and his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers as keeping him "very busy."

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Microsoft names Satya Nadella as CEO, Gates steps down as Chairman

02/04, 9:47am

Gates to help support Nadella in new role, devote more time to Microsoft

Microsoft has announced its new Chief Executive Officer is Satya Nadella, the head of cloud computing at the company. At the same time, Bill Gates will be stepping down as Chairman of the Board of Directors to become Founder and Technology Advisor, in order to help support Nadella in his new role, and is being replaced by new Chairman John Thompson.

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Microsoft: We'll complete CEO search by early 2014

12/17, 2:16pm

Search for Ballmer's replacement still has handful of candidates

Microsoft's ongoing search to replace departing CEO Steve Ballmer is proceeding apace, the company revealed on Tuesday. Posting to the company blog on Tuesday, Microsoft's lead independent director John Thompson expressed confidence that the search will wrap up some time early in the next year, but he noted that it is a complicated process to find a candidate capable of stepping in as only the third CEO Microsoft has had in its 38-year history.

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Microsoft's Ballmer: 'Maybe I'm an emblem of an old era'

11/17, 8:30am

Ballmer admits he may be holding the company back

Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week that his occupation of the top spot at the software giant may in fact be holding Microsoft back from a fuller move into the new computing paradigm. The Microsoft chief expressed his love for the company that he helped build and has helmed since Bill Gates stepped down as CEO, but he admitted that it was time for a new leader to step in. "Maybe I'm an emblem of an old era," Ballmer said, "and I have to move on."

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Office for iPad waiting for 'touch-first' Office UI, says Ballmer

10/08, 1:25pm

Spells further delays for long-awaited iPad apps

Office for iPad "will be picked up when there's a touch-first user interface [for Office]," according to outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The comment was made at a Gartner event in Florida earlier today. Ballmer didn't elaborate, however, except to say that the touch-first UI is "in progress."

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Microsoft's Ballmer sees pay dock due to Windows, Surface performance

10/05, 6:36pm

Windows 8, Surface RT struggles mean pay cut for Ballmer

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer will only earn 79 percent of his potential incentive award for fiscal 2013 due to the poor performance of the Windows Division and the company's underperforming Surface RT device. Earlier this week, the software giant released its fiscal 2013 proxy statement, revealing Ballmer's docked pay. Last year, the Microsoft head received 91 percent of his eligible incentive award.

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Microsoft CEO search focuses on Ford's Alan Mulally

09/10, 9:58am

Investors also interested in CSC CEO Mike Lawrie

A group of Microsoft's top shareholders is reportedly eyeing Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Computer Sciences Corp CEO Mike Lawrie as top candidates to fill Steve Ballmer's position, unnamed sources have told Reuters. A list of potential candidates is said to have been drafted by a committee within Microsoft's board, through meetings with shareholders and advisors.

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Steve Ballmer to retire as Microsoft CEO within next 12 months

08/23, 9:39am

Ballmer to remain CEO until replacement chosen by board committee

Steve Ballmer will retire as Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft within the next 12 months. The announcement from the software maker states that he will step down once a successor has been chosen, with Ballmer continuing as CEO in the mean time in order to continue directing the company after it recently undertook a management reshuffle and a change in focus to services and devices.

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Microsoft announces reshuffle, new focus on 'services and devices'

07/11, 10:58am

Ballmer e-mail reveals managerial changes for 'single strategy as one company'

Microsoft has announced its expected plans for a management reshuffle. The major and "far-reaching realignment," confirmed in an e-mail sent to employees by CEO Steve Ballmer, is said to be a way for Microsoft employees to rally "behind a single strategy as one company – not a collection of divisional strategies."

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Dell executive warned Ballmer to avoid Windows RT branding

12/17, 7:54am

Windows seen as too important not to use in RT name

A Dell executive urged Microsoft to not use Windows branding for its ARM-based operating system, according to reports. Jeffrey Clarke of Dell apparently told Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that it should have been called something else other than Windows RT, but Ballmer deemed the Windows brand to be too important to not be used in the new devices.

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Ballmer: Surface RT off to modest initial sales

11/11, 6:16pm

Ballmer gives no specifics, says WP* will ramp up quickly

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has described sales of the software giant's new keyboard-enabled tablet as "modest" in an interview with a French publication. It is the first time since the device's release late last month that Microsoft has given any indication of the popularity of the Surface RT tablet, though it was previously believed to be selling well due to sell-outs in online availability. Official sales numbers on the device remain unavailable.

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Ballmer: 4 million Windows 8 Upgrades sold, new apps

10/30, 1:32pm

Demonstrates 82-inch slate, PayPal in-app purchasing

Microsoft has sold over four million upgrades for Windows 8 in the first few days after its launch. Speaking at the Build developers event on the Microsoft campus, CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed the number in his keynote speech, alongside announcements for more Windows 8 apps, such as PayPal, Dropbox, and ESPN.

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Microsoft hints at lower fourth quarter earnings

01/11, 3:55pm

Blames drive shortages from Thailand floods

In two separate conferences in Las Vegas yesterday, Microsoft executives predicted that PC shipments industrywide for the fourth quarter of 2011 will be lower than expected. Tami Reller, chief financial officer and chief marketing officer of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live Division, said that estimates of overall PC shipments were about one percent lower than expected. Reller made the remarks at a Nomura Holdings Inc. event yesterday. Bill Koefoed, Microsoft's general manager of investor relations, made similar remarks at a JPMorgan Chase & Co. conference. Koefoed said the actual number may be even lower.

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Andy Lees moved to 'time-critical' Windows 8, Phone project

12/12, 5:00pm

Microsoft moves Windows Phone lead to special work

Microsoft's Windows Phone leader Andy Lees is being moved out of his existing role to work on a special cross-platform project, a leaked memo uncovered Monday. CEO Steve Ballmer told staff that Lees was working on a special project for next year that ZDNet understood would involve Microsoft support across PCs, phones, and tablets. The exact details weren't uncovered other than that Windows 8 and Windows Phone would be the key ingredients.

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Steve Ballmer: 'we always will be' in a Windows era

11/15, 1:10pm

Microsoft CEO shrugs off threat to Windows

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer during the company's annual shareholder's meeting made the declaration that Windows would never go away. When asked if the company was in a post-PC era, as Apple's late Steve Jobs said, he denied it completely, saying that Windows would always be at the forefront. The expansion of smartphones and tablets was a "fantastic thing," he said, since it only helped Microsoft.

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Microsoft Courier axed over Bill Gates' 'allergic reaction'

11/01, 9:25am

Leak shows Courier killed for lack of Office tech

Microsoft's decision to kill the Courier tablet came after a meeting with former CEO Bill Gates himself, according to a new leak on Tuesday. Not willing to decide on his own whether Microsoft should embrace the book-like Courier or a more conventional tablet, current CEO Steve Ballmer turned to a presentation with Gates judging a presentation by Courier architect J Allard, then Entertainment & Devices head Robbie Bach, and a pair of project engineers, CNET heard. Gates reportedly had a virtual "allergic reaction" when Allard revealed that the Courier's emphasis on drawing, note-taking, and other content plans meant it wouldn't have native e-mail or otherwise tap directly into the Office or Windows ecosystems.

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Microsoft reportedly blocked datacenter head from Apple work

10/28, 5:15pm

Microsoft may have forced staffer out of Apple

Microsoft may have blackballed Apple's choice of datacenter head in the moves that ultimately led to Apple hiring from Yahoo, according an unusually detailed rumor. After fighting opposition from his immediate management on his way out, Kevin Timmons was supposedly met by CEO Steve Ballmer, SAI heard. Timmons may have had an "attitude" during the meeting that led to Ballmer reaching Apple directly, threatening legal action if Apple completed the hire.

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Microsoft considering making own phones?

10/18, 10:35pm

Ballmer doesn't rule out in-house hardware

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has hinted that his company is not ruling out the possibility of creating its own smartphones. Although third-party manufacturers currently produce all of the devices running Windows Phone, the executive carefully skirted around a question from a Web 2.0 Summit attendee who asked if the company would build its own phone.

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Microsoft gives Ballmer full pay bonus despite iPad's damage

10/03, 7:15pm

Microsoft SEC filing claims Ballmer underpaid

Microsoft in an SEC filing confirmed that CEO Steve Ballmer had been given his full possible rewards in his past year's pay. His regularly salary increased two percent to $682,500 for the fiscal year that ended in June but was also matched by a 100 percent bonus, giving him nearly $1.37 million for the year. Even combining this with a 3.95 percent share stake in the company, the committee determining his salary believed he was "underpaid" given his significance and achievements, the overseers said.

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Steve Ballmer's approval rating slides among Microsoft staff

05/31, 10:50pm

Approval rating drops to 29% in Q2

Despite recent reports suggesting Microsoft's board of directors is confident in CEO Steve Ballmer, the latest Glassdoor reviews suggest the executive's approval rating has continued to slide among the company's wider group of employees. Numbers from the most recent quarter suggest only 29 percent of Microsoft staffers approve of the executive, compared to 40 percent in the previous quarter.

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Microsoft board ignores calls for Ballmer's ouster

05/26, 9:55pm

Board said to support executive arrangement

Microsoft's board of directors reportedly supports executive Steve Ballmer, despite calls from hedge fund manager David Einhorn for the company to find a new leader. All board members are said to have confidence in Ballmer, unnamed sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, though the company has so far declined to make any public statements regarding the matter.

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Major hedge fund lead says Microsoft's Ballmer should quit

05/25, 11:10pm

Hedge fund exec says Microsoft's Ballmer an anchor

Dissent around Microsoft's leadership became more public Wednesday with a speech from Greenlight Capital manager David Einhorn. The hedge fund operator told those at the Ira Sohn Investment Research Conference Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had to "give someone else a chance" at the top spot. He considered the early Microsoft executive the "biggest overhang" on Microsoft's stock because he was mired in traditional behavior.

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Microsoft shuts creative unit behind Courier tablet

05/19, 6:45pm

Microsoft closes experimental Pioneer Studios

New tips Thursday afternoon have pointed to and confirmed Microsoft shutting down its once-hopeful Pioneer Studios. Its creative workshop, best known for the ill-fated Courier tablet, has closed down its exotic office in Seattle and seen most staff either folded into existing groups or have left elsewhere. Microsoft didn't directly confirm the end to the studio with CNET but did say it was no longer occupying its custom-designed space.

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BlackBerry gets Bing at its core, PlayBook gets Angry Birds

05/03, 11:00am

Bing integration to be at OS level

RIM during its BlackBerry World day two keynote on Tuesday landed a pair of key deals. Microsoft's Steve Ballmer took to the stage in an unusual move and promised that Bing would form the core search engine not just for Bing Maps, as on the BlackBerry PlayBook, but all BlackBerry devices. The feature would reach devices during the holiday season, but it wasn't said if this was for BlackBerry 7 or a future revision of the OS.

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Ballmer promises better compensation for Microsoft employees

04/21, 4:55pm

Company shifting away from stock awards

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reportedly circulated a memo detailing a variety of changes to the company's compensation policies. The executive promises to increase compensation for employees at all levels, with a particular focus on workers involved in "early and mid-level R&D," or those located in specific regions.

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Microsoft CEO taps engineers as execs to take on Apple, more

02/07, 10:50pm

Ballmer promoting senior engineers as top staff

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was said on Monday to be overhauling the company's executive structure in a bid to better compete against Apple and Google. The plan would promote senior engineers that would have experience in areas where Microsoft has historically been weak, such as in cloud computing, phones and tablets. The move tipped off to Bloomberg would likely be to get an understanding of what would truly be possible for future projects.

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Apple, Facebook top CEO approval ranks, Microsoft much lower

12/01, 6:10pm

Jobs, Zuckerberg top CEO approvals while MS lags

An updated list of CEO approval ratings from Glassdoor has shown a wide disparity between some technology firms' executives. Apple's Steve Jobs, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Eric Schmidt lead the group, all claiming 96 to 97 percent approval from their staff on the site. Rivals were much lower, however, and saw MySpace president Mike Jones at 60 percent, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz at 56 and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer at a particularly low 49 percent.

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Ballmer and Gates argue against splitting up Microsoft

11/16, 6:45pm

Executives claim to have considered new strategies

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and chairman Bill Gates both argued against a shareholder's suggestion that it may be "time to consider breaking the company up." During a meeting with a number of shareholders, Ballmer proclaimed such a move would not be useful and might inadvertently lead to "economic dis-synergies."

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Jobs made 'angry' call to Microsoft over Bungie acquisition

10/26, 1:30pm

Deal dealt blow to Mac gaming industry

Apple CEO Steve Jobs made an "angry" call to Microsoft head Steve Ballmer following the latter company's buyout of Bungie, a new interview reveals. Bungie was once one of the foremost Mac developers, having created popular game franchises like Myth and Marathon. The first Halo game was originally expected to be flagship Mac title, launching for Mac and Windows systems simultaneously; Jobs himself revealed plans during a 1999 Macworld conference.

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Microsoft: no interim tablet version of Windows before 8

10/08, 8:35pm

Ballmer says Windows 7 only needs tweak for slate

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer during a TechDays session in the UK told those gathered that there wouldn't be an in-between version of Windows 7 optimized for tablets. Mark Wilson and those in attendance were told Microsoft was "not going to do a revamp" before the next version of Windows arrived, which many expect in 2012. Optimizations to the user interface on particular devices, such as upsizing buttons, would make them much more touch- and pen-friendly.

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Microsoft talking to Adobe about teaming vs. Apple, merger?

10/07, 4:25pm

Microsoft and Adobe in collaborative talks

Adobe and Microsoft have been talking about possibly collaborating against Apple or even a union between the two, sources said on Thursday. Their respective CEOs Shantanu Narayen and Steve Ballmer reportedly met for over an hour recently and discussed the possibility of teamwork to counter Apple's influence in the mobile world. Consultants and workers told the New York Times that they had gone so far as to float the option of Microsoft buying Adobe, although how serious this was isn't known.

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MS expects iPad rivals by holidays, may show them October 11

10/05, 10:05am

Microsoft CEO sees Windows iPad rivals by year end

Microsoft's tablet strategy accelerated on Tuesday with remarks from CEO Steve Ballmer that Windows-based rivals to the iPad would be in stores by the end of the year. In a presentation at the London School of Economics, he wouldn't name companies but said of the tablets that buyers would "see them this Christmas." The company had put in effort to make sure the tablets were suitable for creation and consumption, Reuters and students heard.

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What will it take to carry Apple’s torch after Jobs?

07/31, 1:20pm

Editorial: Apple still faces tough succession

Recently, critics of Microsoft’s decision-makers have called on the company’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, to step down and give someone else with fresh ideas the opportunity to set the company’s direction. It’s a call that has been running through Redmond for years. And just as before, it won’t be enough to get Ballmer out of there. Perhaps, then, it’s time to turn our attention to Cupertino and Apple.

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