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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at a Microsoft event in San Francisco, June 26. Ballmer, who helped build Microsoft into a technology empire and then struggled to prevent it from crumbling under his own leadership, will retire within the next 12 months. The world's biggest software company did not name a successor. Microsoft Corp.�s stock shot up 9 percent in premarket trading following the news. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., speaks at an event in San Francisco, on July, 16, 2012. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)
Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., watches a demonstration at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 9, 2012. Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months after more than a decade leading the world's largest software maker, Microsoft said Aug. Friday. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)