Microsoft stock surges 8% on news that Ballmer is retiring

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Investors appear to be quite pleased with the today’s big news that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will step down in the next 12 months, pushing Microsoft’s stock up about 8 percent this morning.

“This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do,” Ballmer wrote in an internal memo to his employees. “I take this step in the best interests of the company I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most.”

Ballmer has been the CEO of the company since Jan. 2000 and had the difficult task of succeeding the legendary Bill Gates. He has overseen both successes like the Xbox and Office and failures like Windows Vista and the Surface RT tablet. Recently, he oversaw a massive reorganization to help move the company forward.

Regardless of Ballmer’s wins and the reorganization, investors didn’t seem to care and clearly want a change in direction. A new CEO will be picked in the next year and will take over for Ballmer before mid-August of 2014.

Microsoft’s stock closed yesterday at $32.25 per share and now is sitting at about $34.71 per share.