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Microsoft Jumps Following Ballmer News

posted 23 Aug 2013, 07:47 by Mpelembe   [ updated 23 Aug 2013, 07:48 ]

U.S. stocks gain at open. Microsoft's Ballmer to retire.

NEW YORKNEW YORKUNITED STATES (AUGUST 23, 2013) (NYSE) -  Stocks rose at the open on Friday (August 23) lifted by Microsoft shares, which shot up more than 8 percent on news its Chief Executive Steve Ballmer will retire within 12 months.

Ballmer said in a statement that he would have timed his retirement in the middle of Microsoft's announced transformation to a devices and services company. But he said: "We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction."

The software company said its board had appointed a special committee to direct the process of appointing a new CEO.

The committee is chaired by John Thompson, the board's lead independent director, and includes Microsoft founder and Chairman Bill Gates, as well as other board members Chuck Noski and Steve Luczo.

It will consider both external and internal candidates and is working with executive recruiting firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc <HSII.O>, according to the company.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 26.87 points or 0.18 percent, to 14,990.61, the S&P 500 gained 4.87 points or 0.29 percent, to 1,661.83 and the Nasdaq Composite added 20.659 points or 0.57 percent, to 3,659.367.

Trader attention was focused on the exchange, which appeared to open normally for trading after a three hour outage Thursday afternoon (August 22).