Microsoft stock surges after Ballmer announces retirement plans

Earlier this morning, Steve Ballmer announced that he would be retiring from Microsoft and that the search for a new CEO is now underway. When the head of a major corporation decides that their time at the top of the org chart is up, it’s always quite interesting to see how the stock price moves as this will be a sign of how investors truly felt about the leader.

After the announcement at approximately 9:25am, Microsoft’s share price surged by 9%. This is clearly a sign that investors are happy about the news and likely feel that a new leader will help Microsoft navigate the changing marketplace that Microsoft is now fording.

The search for a new CEO will be watched closely by Microsoft fans and investors as, no matter your opinion of Ballmer, the CEO position at Microsoft has some seriously large shoes to fill. With a highly competitive marketplace and new competitors entering the market, any major slipup could spell disaster for the company.

All eyes will be on Microsoft as the hunt gets underway and the company chooses an individual to lead one of the most influential companies in the world.

Image Credit: Yahoo Finance

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire in the next 12 months

Next Story

Here is Ballmer's email telling his employees he is retiring

54 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I think its worth noting that there are a couple of things to factor into this jump:

1) The NASDAQ exchange feed dropped for about 2 hours yesterday, and all trades were done prior to market open. There's the possibility that a lot of automated trading catching is catching up and/or taking advantage of this.
2) Investors unhappy with Ballmer are happy because Ballmer have left and are gooey eyed at seeing <NOT_BALLMER_CEO> running the company. Once the new CEO is announced, a percentage of this surge will be lost again as investors find out the replacement isn't their first choice.

That said, I personally don't think Ballmer has done such a bad job as CEO. There are some things I take issue with, but I think for the most part he's done okay. I mean some of Microsofts best products all came out under his reign:

- Windows XP, Windows 7
- Windows Server, MSSQL (post 2000), .NET Framework 2.0+
- SharePoint
- Visual Studio 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012
- Office 2003, 2007, 2010, 365
- XBox, Xbox 360

But I think the thing that will tarnish his legacy is the way he's transitioning the company. Don't get me wrong, I think he's done well to do what equates to turning a juggernaut on a dime, but in the process he's cost the company a lot of money. He missed the boat on the web revolution (Internet Explorer didn't catch up to the competition for a good 5 years) and the smartphone revolution (Windows Phone, while decent, still trails a long way behind the market leaders in terms of market share).

Glad to see Ballmer go, he was nothing but a Bane on the company. Lets get back to MS actually taking time with this stuff. This yearly release cycle for Server 2012 is already becoming a huge pain in the ass, especially when they expect us to PAY for yearly updates like that.

So now it's obvious to EVERYONE that Ballmer's Windows 8, Windows Phone, RT, and Surface initiatives were total and complete failures. Wall Street agrees, apparently, as you don't usually see an EIGHT PERCENT jump in stock value when a GOOD leader retires. One can only hope that the successor, whoever they may be, starts LISTENING to their customers, gets rid of the "Metro" CRAP, and gets products out that customers actually want! Bye Ballmer, you WONT be missed!

John Nemesh said,
So now it's obvious to EVERYONE that Ballmer's Windows 8, Windows Phone, RT, and Surface initiatives were total and complete failures. Wall Street agrees, apparently, as you don't usually see an EIGHT PERCENT jump in stock value when a GOOD leader retires. One can only hope that the successor, whoever they may be, starts LISTENING to their customers, gets rid of the "Metro" CRAP, and gets products out that customers actually want! Bye Ballmer, you WONT be missed!

Sorry, I stopped reading when you started yelling

The surge in the stock price is premature. Especially not knowing who will be taking his place. They need to get someone who can get Microsoft to compete again. When Microsoft was a monopoly it forgot how to compete and innovate because they did not have to compete, it flowed with being a monopoly.

Unfortunately Steve is part of that era, as well as Bill Gates. I don't think Steve was a bad guy, or even an idiot. His dancing and prancing around a stage has to be put into context and at the time they were really good morale boosters for the employees.

It has been a long time and Microsoft needs to get its pride back. It is a sleeping giant who needs a good kick in the butt to get it going again. If they are transitioning into devices and services they need someone who truly understand devices. Bill and Steve understand software perfectly, but hardware is a whole other ball game.

I think he is making the right decision but I hope he stays as a board member.

Thygod said,
The surge in the stock price is premature. Especially not knowing who will be taking his place. They need to get someone who can get Microsoft to compete again. When Microsoft was a monopoly it forgot how to compete and innovate because they did not have to compete, it flowed with being a monopoly.

Unfortunately Steve is part of that era, as well as Bill Gates. I don't think Steve was a bad guy, or even an idiot. His dancing and prancing around a stage has to be put into context and at the time they were really good morale boosters for the employees.

It has been a long time and Microsoft needs to get its pride back. It is a sleeping giant who needs a good kick in the butt to get it going again. If they are transitioning into devices and services they need someone who truly understand devices. Bill and Steve understand software perfectly, but hardware is a whole other ball game.

I think he is making the right decision but I hope he stays as a board member.

MSFT is making more money than google, so I'm not sure why you think they can't compete. Sure, mobile isn't their strength, but they are kicking google's ass in enterprise where google can't compete. so before you narrow down MSFT to ONE division, you better look at the big picture pal.

neonspark said,

MSFT is making more money than google, so I'm not sure why you think they can't compete. Sure, mobile isn't their strength, but they are kicking google's ass in enterprise where google can't compete. so before you narrow down MSFT to ONE division, you better look at the big picture pal.

I couldn't care less about Google. Every customer I have that chose Google ended up going back to Microsoft.

Having said that, mobile is the growing market and services are a mayor component of the mobile market.

There is a saying, true or not, that says: "No one has ever gotten fired for choosing IBM". It used to be that in the late 90's, early 00's, you could say the same thing about Microsoft. Microsoft used to be the place where IT people dreamed to start their career.

Can you honestly say that the Microsoft of the 90's, early 00's is the same Microsoft of today? Can you say that people line up for jobs at Microsoft? Can you say that Microsoft employees are as proud of the company as they were back then? If you say yes, then you are living in a bubble, and if you are a Microsoft employee then you are not talking too much with your peers (I know I have).

Microsoft became a slow moving behemoth. They still innovate, but they could innovate faster. They still compete, but they could compete better.

They have a good portfolio in services with Office 365 and Azure and in the long run they are cheaper alternatives to Office Professional in an enterprise agreement with software assurance. They should have released something like this BEFORE Google even came up with their idea, but they were too busy taking care of their cash cows at a big opportunity cost.

Windows Phone and Xbox are also great products. Windows 8 however is being updated too slowly. It has some little annoying things that need to be taken care off in a faster way (like different volume levels for games and phone calls). They should just buy Nokia and get rid of licensing it to OEM's and be a devices company in that end. With that and their understanding of the enterprise market should make them a very good competitor when BYOD finally takes off in a big way (and that is coming as the consumerization of IT is larger every day). All this paragraph is besides the point as I know that not everyone thinks the same way and there are many ways to skin a cat.

I have been selling Microsoft products for 20+ years and as time goes by it becomes increasingly difficult to sell their products using the same old school licensing model. Their R2 releases are a joke designed to milk companies in a non functioning software assurance program which makes the product more expensive. If Windows 8.1 is a free update then Windows 2012 R2 should be as well. They need to innovate there as well and become more agile to incoming market trends because they are no longer in the monopoly position they were that allowed them to get away with crap like that.

Is Ballmer the right guy to take Microsoft through this endeavors? I don't think so, and neither does he. Is Gates the person? I don't think so either. They need a new guy or gal. When I say that he should stay in the board at least is because Bill and Steve both understand their cash cows and their enterprise accounts. They need both of them during the transition as not to lose these accounts and opportunities.

Swiftiez said,
Bring back Gates

He backed Ballmer, that automatically disqualifies him from being any sort of leadership material anymore.

Order_66 said,

He backed Ballmer, that automatically disqualifies him from being any sort of leadership material anymore.


Ballmer wasn't the greatest CEO, but he wasn't bad either. He really knew the ins and outs of Microsoft and delivered one of the best keynotes ever during Build.

You'd have to be blind to think Ballmer has matched up to Bill Gates in any fashion. Hopefully they will get someone back with vision.

Surface has its issues, but if Microsoft didn't take charge with demonstrating how to make a decent Windows 8 tablet, what would we be left with ....? Not sure if OEMs would have done anything much different than the old normal.

Spicoli said,
Hopefully they'll back out of the hardware business outside of the XBox. Hardware is the best way to lose money these days.

And give up on tablets, I/O devices? No way, that's not happening...

Aaron44126 said,
Surface has its issues, but if Microsoft didn't take charge with demonstrating how to make a decent Windows 8 tablet, what would we be left with ....? Not sure if OEMs would have done anything much different than the old normal.

I happen to think the Surface RT is a brilliant hardware device. I have some issues with the OS (locked out desktop), but the tablet plus a type keyboard cover is exactly the convertible I was looking for.

I'm not talking about a problem with any specific device. It's the hardware business in general. It's cut throat margins with not much money to be made. Pretty much every hardware company reported loses or dropping profits. Software licensing is where it's at. The XBox is the only hardware I would keep in order to get all the game licensing and service revenue.

chrisj1968 said,
man, talk about people waiting for this announcement. Now we can hope for a good windows 9

Is there something wrong with 8.1?

Dot Matrix said,

Is there something wrong with 8.1?

depends on who you ask, of course..... just like every thing.... some hate some love... some in the middle (like me, who have things they love things they hate)

Lord Method Man said,
We can only hope. Even Ballmer himself admitted Windows 8 didn't sell well.

Does admitting something like this make a "failure" more "real"?

Yes, it didn't sell well, but it wasn't exactly supposed to.
1. Most of what Microsoft sells goes to business - hardware, services and software. Most companies are moving from XP -> 7, and probably won't go to 8. We expected this all along.
2. Knowing 1, add on the fact that most consumers already use tablets of their own - either running iOS or Android
3. PC sales aren't exactly high - most people who can afford or need a computer already have one.
4. Windows 8 was a radical change - and carrying the Windows name while looking completely difference scares people - no, I don't understand why either
Just because a piece of software isn't selling well, you can't simply blame a CEO. A lot more goes into it, including the points I provided above. It doesn't mean the software was "bad," just that the timing and advertising weren't the best.

Either way, my hope is that the next CEO correctly pushes Microsoft towards the goals of faster release cycles and high quality products. That's all I really want.

chrisj1968 said,
man, talk about people waiting for this announcement. Now we can hope for a good windows 9

yeah, in 3 years as it should. get used to 8.1 and 8.2 before 9.

Lord Method Man said,
We can only hope. Even Ballmer himself admitted Windows 8 didn't sell well.

Is windows 9 out already, I must have missed it. Can you finalize windows 8 sells before it's successor has been released?

Order_66 said,

There is plenty wrong with 8.1 but you refuse to accept any of it.


Nothing's really wrong with it. Just minor problems things like icons that have been in Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 while everything around it has been updated. There are some other things they could do to make Windows better, they need to rewrite search to be more like spotlight that can search alot faster (instantly) and bring results back in separated categories. Bring back search in apps without having a search bar. I wish they added a feature like OSX's Keychain Access, Drag and Drop everywhere, allowing you to drag a picture from a modern UI webbrowser and drop it to the desktop while the image icon automatically resizes like in OSX, Proxy Icons, use png or jpg instead of ico, and better api support for stuff like Mac has for core imaging and core video. They should also release their own photo/video/music editing suite for free and sell versions for profit that contains more functionality. If they could add those and refine the operating system like apple did with Snow Leopard, they could have a very nice OS for video/photo editors and still appeal to the consumer that just wants ease of use.

neufuse said,

depends on who you ask, of course..... just like every thing.... some hate some love... some in the middle (like me, who have things they love things they hate)

And you'll probably feel that way about anything released from here to eternity.

Dot Matrix said,

Well, that certainly convinces me..... NOT.


Well i bet even if it was dogs**t some people would like it and buy it ...

DaveBG said,

Well i bet even if it was dogs**t some people would like it and buy it ...

Well, even if it was gold some people would hate it and whine about it because that's just what they do...

uxo22 said,

Well, even if it was gold some people would hate it and whine about it because that's just what they do...

Ignorance is a bliss... it is slow , inefficient and ugly. I bet you will also not buy it but you will troll on forums to death.

DaveBG said,

Ignorance is a bliss... it is slow , inefficient and ugly. I bet you will also not buy it but you will troll on forums to death.

Windows 8 is far from slow or inefficient. Ugly is a matter of opinion. I personally like the new flat look. It certainly is better than the alternative.

Tyler R. said,
Thank god! Maybe the new CEO will have a brain.

Why don't you step up, armchair critic? Oh right, you haven't successfully run a multibillion dollar company.. in.. ever

Part of that was Sinofsky, Jensen Harris, Padnos Panay, and Julie Larson-Green, not just Ballmer. And all we can do is hope that the executive team and whoever else is evolved in bringing the new CEO into place, keep the vision of the others: Windows 8, three screen and a cloud, yearly updates, Surface the "stage" for Windows 8, good OEM relations, more Windows Store Support, and more Windows Phone support and advertising that is good. I have seen WP pop up more than ever around San Francisco and the Easy Bay, which many people call the land of Steve Job, but it really isn't.

Tyler R. said,
Thank god! Maybe the new CEO will have a brain.

I know right? Windows XP, Windows 7, enough said. Bloody Ballmer indeed </sarcasm>


Yes I know I skipped Vista and 8. The point wasn't to say XP and 7 were the only good versions under Ballmer's reign, rather, two exemplary examples of products under his watch that prove it wasn't this super disaster some people seem to think it was. I personally had no issues, and enjoyed Vista and 8 very much as well.

ZipZapRap said,

Why don't you step up, armchair critic? Oh right, you haven't successfully run a multibillion dollar company.. in.. ever

Ohhhh man! So so the one arm chair critic is criticizing the other arm chair critic while himself being in an arm chair whilst criticizing the criticizer... mind... BLOWN...

But that mean that I'm... (takes glasses off) Mother of god...

ZipZapRap said,

Why don't you step up, armchair critic? Oh right, you haven't successfully run a multibillion dollar company.. in.. ever

And You know that how troll?

ZipZapRap said,

Why don't you step up, armchair critic? Oh right, you haven't successfully run a multibillion dollar company.. in.. ever

I take it you agree with every decision your government makes?

ians18 said,
Part of that was Sinofsky, Jensen Harris, Padnos Panay, and Julie Larson-Green, not just Ballmer.

Funny, how you gave part of the credit of MS success to all of the guys in your quote above. However, you are willing to put all the negative blame on Balmer. Mind you, he deserves the blame because he is the CEO, however he also deserves the credit as well. Let's not develop a double standard, although that seems to be the norm in the tech industry these days.

Athernar said,

I take it you agree with every decision your government makes?

So the government is running Microsoft Now? Apples and Oranges. There's a huge magnitude of difference in the responsibilities each has to the people. Let's not over simplify.

See how I took your same approach and used it against you?

ZipZapRap said,

Why don't you step up, armchair critic? Oh right, you haven't successfully run a multibillion dollar company.. in.. ever

I'd have to agree with ZipZapRap a brainless person would have hardly run a company of this magnitude for 13 years and endured the success that he has accomplished.

I feel that Tyler's response was an emotional response triggered simply by propaganda, as I can't think of one reason that he would "ACTUALLY" believe that the guy has "no brain". (being he's a dumbass)

Granted, that's just my opinion.

uxo22 said,

So the government is running Microsoft Now? Apples and Oranges. There's a huge magnitude of difference in the responsibilities each has to the people. Let's not over simplify.

See how I took your same approach and used it against you?

Uh, no. Your response doesn't make the slightest bit of sense.

People criticise their governments while not being politicians or having held office themselves, using such sycophantic logic they shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion.

uxo22 said,

Funny, how you gave part of the credit of MS success to all of the guys in your quote above. However, you are willing to put all the negative blame on Balmer. Mind you, he deserves the blame because he is the CEO, however he also deserves the credit as well. Let's not develop a double standard, although that seems to be the norm in the tech industry these days.


I said "part" of the reason implying Ballmer is the other "part"

You guys are nuts. That's all I'm going to say. lol

My response was not emotional. Ballmer alienated 90% of Windows users by allowing Windows 8 to see the light of day. If he was a true leader, he would have release SP2 for Windows 7 and kept Windows 8 in beta for another year to work out all the kinks and get AAA tile developers on board.

I own a Windows Phone, I use 8.1 Beta daily, I understand why Microsoft is pushing this so hard, however there's a lot I disagree with. I do not like my desktop OS monetized with gimmick apps that lack key features, ads, etc. Windows 8 looks good on paper, however, Microsoft really erred on the execution, which in the end, is really what matters.