Microsoft’s former chief executive Steve Ballmer has stepped down from the company’s board of directors, ending his 34-year career with the company.
Ballmer confirmed his departure in a letter to new chief executive Satya Nadella, in which he said that he expects he will be too busy with other areas of his life, including ownership of basketball team the LA Clippers, to involve Microsoft too.
“In the six months since leaving, I have become very busy. I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time,” he said.
“I think it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off. The fall will be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the NBA season so my departure from the board is effective immediately.”
Ballmer said the decision was not easy and he would always be available to Nadella for any input if required. “I bleed Microsoft – have for 34 years and I always will. I continue to love discussing the company’s future. I love trying new products and sending feedback. I love reading about what is going on at the company,” he said.
“Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing. The company will move to higher heights. I will be proud, and I will benefit through my share ownership.”
Ballmer will retain his huge stock holding in the company, which could give him significant influence over decisions in the future.
In response Nadella thanked Ballmer for his time and wished him well for future efforts. “While your insights and leadership will be greatly missed as part of the board, I understand and support your decision,” he said.