FORMER MICROSOFT CEO Steve 'developers, developers, developers' Ballmer has stepped down from the Microsoft board so he can focus on yelling at, er, inspiring the Clippers basketball team.
This week a video of Ballmer introducing himself to the team and its fans appeared online (below). He was as impassioned as we have come to expect, and it should perhaps come as no surprise that he wants to spend more time there.
Microsoft has published Ballmer's resignation statement, and the response from CEO Satya Nadella, who replaced him earlier this year.
Ballmer quit as CEO six months ago, and now, other than retaining a large chunk of stock, he has exited the Redmond, Washington firm. In his 'Dear Satya' letter, he spoke of how he "bleeds" Microsoft, and has enjoyed his 34 years there.
"As I approach the six month mark of my retirement and your appointment as CEO, I have been reflecting on my life, my ongoing ownership of Microsoft stock, and my involvement with the company," he wrote.
"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."
This busy Ballmer will retain his shares, he said, and will remain confident in Microsoft, which is taking a mobile and cloud-first approach with an emphasis on "platforms and productivity".
"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," he added.
"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."
Nadella took this all on board, and replied to Ballmer with some reciprocal praise and best wishes. He wished his colleague all the best and told him that he would be missed.
"While your insights and leadership will be greatly missed as part of the board, I understand and support your decision," he said.
"As you embark on your new journey, I am sure that you will bring the same boldness, passion and impact to your new endeavours that you brought to Microsoft, and we wish you incredible success. I also look forward to partnering with you as a shareholder." µ
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