Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, has announced that he plans retire in the next twelve months, depending on when a replacement can be found.

The company publicly announced the news on Friday, which resulted in the company’s stock shooting up by nearly 9% in pre-market trading.

Microsoft CEO to Retire In The Next Year

In a statement Ballmer said, “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.”

Only one month ago Ballmer Ballmer led a massive reorganisation of the company in a bid to bring all the divisions under one unified vision. Microsoft has said that a special committee has been appointed to oversee the process of hunting for Ballmer’s replacement.

How do you think a change in CEO will affect Microsoft? Tell us your comments below.

[Image via digitaltrends]