After running Microsoft for more than a decade, CEO Steve Ballmer said Friday he would retire in the next 12 months once his successor is found.
The announcement essentially brings to an end an extended period of investor frustration with Microsoft. While Ballmer methodically and slowly grew the company into a behemoth, shareholders have been looking at the quick and massive growth of major competitors Google and Apple during the same period and are left to wonder what might have been.
Throughout Ballmer’s tenure, Microsoft stock has basically flatlined — that is, until today’s retirement announcement, which sent shares up nearly 8% in trading.
The two biggest questions now are who will take over for Ballmer and can that person keep it from going through another “what might have been” period. With that in mind, here are a few highlights and lowlights from Ballmer’s tenure, by the numbers.
**Editor’s note: Microsoft doesn’t break out Windows sales figures, only licenses, so its most important product is note quantified here.**
…which would be great, but the entertainment and devices division’s operating income (and margins) are tiny compared with its business and Windows operations.
By comparison, in 2012, Windows brought in $11.5 billion in operating income off $18.4 billion in revenue, and in 2011 it brought in $12.2 billion in operating income off $19 billion in revenue.
Then again, Microsoft has lost billions in its online services division since 2005.
Microsoft’s Servers & Tools business has grown at a healthy clip, and its business services have also performed well.
Needless to say, as a company providing enterprise tools and services to larger companies, Microsoft performed well.
So far, Windows has sold around 100 million licenses for Windows 8, its next-generation Windows product.
However, this is basically tiny compared to its competitors like Apple.
But that actually works out for Ballmer personally. With the stock up more than $2 today, Ballmer’s stake in the company is worth about an extra $800 million.
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