Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has resigned his position on the board at Redmond.
The larger than life executive, who handed over the reins to Satya Nadella earlier this year 14 years at the helm, is giving up his seat at Microsoft’s head table with immediate effect.
Ballmer’s decision comes shortly after he secured a new career as a sports team owner.
His $2 billion (around £1.2bn) purchase of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers was recently rubber stamped, following the league’s battle to remove controversial incumbent owner Donald Sterling.
Ballmer released a statement on Tuesday, via an open letter to Nadella, explaining it would be impractical to attempt to juggle both roles.
He wrote ”Given my confidence and the multitude of new commitments I am taking on now, 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.
“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. 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. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can.”
Ballmer, who overtook his predecessor Bill Gates as Microsoft’s largest shareholder earlier this year, said he intends to hold onto that position.
He added: “I hold more Microsoft shares than anyone other than index funds and love the mix of profits, investments and dividends returned in our stock. I expect to continue holding that position for the foreseeable future.”
The departure from the board marks the end of Ballmer’s active career at Microsoft, although his position as largest shareholder will surely give him plenty of sway over the goings on in the Pacific north west.
One thing’s for sure. Microsoft will be a far less boisterous place without Ballmer. There’s unlikely to be anymore of this for a start.
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