MIAMI (08/23/2013) - Steve Ballmer will retire as Microsoft CEO at some point in the next 12 months, the company said on Friday, a shocking announcement that comes weeks after he drafted a major business reorganization that's being implemented now.

"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer said in a statement. "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."

The company's board of directors has created a special committee to find his replacement.

(More to come)