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>> WHO'S NEXT: Microsoft's next CEO likely to be young insider: Ballmer's retirement announcement includes a [FOO] for his successor: "a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction." Two under-50 execs already at Microsoft are likely on the short list for CEO candidates: Tony Bates, whose outstanding accomplishments as Skype's CEO include getting Microsoft to pay $8.5 billion for the company, and Microsoft's EVP of cloud and enterprise, Satya Nadella. InfoWorld
>> QUICK DECISION: Ballmer's retirement decided two days ago: The outgoing CEO tells ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley that he had been thinking about retirement for the past two months or so, but officially, "We had a board call. When was that, two days ago? And it was really two days ago ... I would say that we really -- I finalized and we finalized that this was the right path forward." ZDNet
>>>> Ballmer says the timing of his announcement has nothing to do with projected results for Microsoft's Q1 2014 ZDNet
>> GREAT TIMING: Ballmer's departure presages a market shift for Microsoft The company's transition from a pure software business to one focused on devices and services is likely to take at least a decade, and switching CEOs mid-stream could be ruinous. "It’s clear that any new leadership will need to be focused on that long-term change, and will need to understand the way that a services model fundamentally changes Microsoft’s core enterprise market." CITEworld