The board of directors has appointed a special committee to lead the process of finding Ballmer’s successor and lead independent director John Thompson will chair that panel, Microsoft said Friday.
“The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company,” Thompson said.
Board Chairman Bill Gates, audit committee chairman Chuck Noski and compensation committee chairman Steve Luczo are also members of the special committee and the company has retained executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles International to help with the process.
Both external and internal candidates are being considered, Microsoft said.
“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,” Ballmer said.
“We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction,” he added.