Steve Ballmer announced plans to step down as CEO of Microsoft. Why is he being thanked?
It’s the news many Microsoft shareholders have been dreaming about since the start of the millennium: Steve Ballmer is stepping down as CEO within the next twelve months.
CNBC’s Jim Cramer says the market is showing its gratitude to Ballmer, who was business manager at the Harvard Crimson when Cramer was its president. On this morning “Squawk on The Street”, Cramer said:
“I think that people are very disappointed with Steve…. The market is saying ‘Thank you!’”
(Read more: Microsoft CEO Ballmer to step down within 12 months)
When founder Bill Gates handed the reins over to his college friend Ballmer, Microsoft was the world’s most valuable company, worth about $583 billion. Microsoft is now worth $289 billion.
In the meantime, it watched its old rival Apple grow in value from less than $18.7 billion to $454 billion. Google, which was a two year-old startup with less than $30 million in funding, is now as valuable as Microsoft today. Among the many products Google offers its users for free is a suite of software compatible with Microsoft’s mainstay Office products.
Unlike either Apple or Google, Microsoft is barely a player in the mobile market. Its operating system was only 3.3% of total units shipped worldwide in the most recent quarter, according to the tech researchers at Gartner.
The market voted on Ballmer announcement with its wallet: Microsoft’s shares were up more than 7% at one point today. That makes it is the biggest one-day advance since April 2009, when share prices jumped 10.5%. Word of Ballmer’s departure increased Microsoft’s value by $19 billion.
It’s right now the fourth-best performing Dow Jones Industrial Average component this year but do the prospects of a new leader mean Microsoft is a buy? Or, is it too little too late?
Looking at Microsoft’s fundmantals for Talking Numbers is Steve Cortes, founder of Veracruz TJM. On the charts is JC O’Hara, Chief Market Technician at FBN Securities.
Will Mr. Softee get back on track? Watch the video above to see Cortes and O’Hara analyze Microsoft.