Regardless of who is making the official decision about his successor, as long as Bill Gates is on the board of directors I'm betting he has a significant say in the matter if not an unofficial veto. It's no secret Steve Ballmer consulted closely with him on some key decisions like killing the Courier tablet. Unless his power has greatly diminished that's probably not a good sign. OTOH whoever they pick is unlikely to be as clueless as Ballmer so it almost has to be an improvement.
I suspect this is probably more about damage control over the surveillance leaks, especially the new leak from the Germans about Windows 8 and TPM, than the business problems anyway.