A week after Ballmer's retirement announcement, Microsoft announced that it had signed a "cooperation agreement" with ValueAct Capital, one of its biggest investors, that gave the investment firm the right to appoint its president to Microsoft's board. Many observers speculated at the time that Ballmer decided to retire in order to appease ValueAct and avoid a proxy fight. One of the biggest knocks against Ballmer has been that Microsoft's stock price has been stagnant during his 13-year stint as CEO.
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.