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Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 12:46 pm PT (03:46 pm ET)

Uncertainty at Microsoft sparks concern about retaining current employees

With Chief Executive Steve Ballmer set to retire and Microsoft undergoing major structural changes, employees at the software giant are said to be spooked, sparking concern that retaining current workers could be a challenge.

Ballmer


Microsoft is looking to reassure workers who may be concerned over a number of major changes recently instituted at the company, according to Bloomberg. Most significantly among those is the forthcoming departure of Ballmer, who unexpectedly announced last week that he intends to retire within the next year.

Ballmer's announcement arrived just weeks after the CEO revealed a major corporate realignment at Microsoft aimed at making the company more adaptable to a rapidly changing tech market led by companies like Apple and Google. And now with a new CEO set to take over Microsoft in the next 12 months, it's unclear whether the sweeping changes instituted by Ballmer will remain in place, or if a new leader could change course yet again.

Tuesday's report revealed that some executives at Microsoft unhappy with the recent changes could leave the company once their stock grants and bonuses are awarded at the end of August. Sensing unease among Microsoft workers, rival tech companies are also reportedly stepping up their efforts to recruit personnel who may be looking to exit the Windows maker.

In an effort to calm those concerns, members of the Microsoft senior leadership team reportedly e-mailed staff last Friday, the same day of Ballmer's announcement, to affirm their commitment to the corporate restructuring plan currently in place. The new "One Microsoft" will focus on devices and services, and aims to encourage greater collaboration between departments.

Publicly, Microsoft's board of directors have also stated they are committed to Ballmer's restructuring plan, even after the current CEO retires. But Microsoft has seen a number of high-profile personnel depart the company in recent months, including Xbox chief Don Mattrick and Windows head Steven Sinofsky.