Steve Ballmer's net worth up $1bn as Microsoft announces that he will retire

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is to retire within the next 12 months upon completion of the process to find successor, the tech giant has announced (release).

Now Bill Gates and a special committee will undertake that process to find the right guy for the job. Stock in the company has been pretty stagnant since Gates' departure from the top job.

The famously self-confident boss may be happy, with over 300m shares in the company, he'll be up around $1bn (£640m) as Microsoft rises 8.5 per cent on the open.

However Microsoft's press release was lacking in praise of Ballmer as he exited the job, which would usually be considered typical in such a statement.

Here's some classic Steve:

Steve Ballmer, CEO:

There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time.

We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.

John Thompson, chairman of special committee to find Ballmer's successor:

The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company.

As this work continues, we are focused on selecting a new CEO to work with the company’s senior leadership team to chart the company’s course and execute on it in a highly competitive industry.