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Steve Ballmer departs from Microsoft board after 34 years of service

updated 04:41 pm EDT, Tue August 19, 2014

Outgoing Ballmer to spend time with Los Angeles Clippers, teaching

Steve Ballmer has stepped down his position as Microsoft board member, six months after being replaced as CEO by Satya Nadella. In a letter to the current CEO, the former leader advises that he is departing "effective immediately," citing his involvement with teaching and his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers as keeping him "very busy."

Ballmer writes that Microsoft was his "life's work," and while he is proud of what he sees in the company and the leadership team, "there are challenges ahead but the opportunities are even larger." Claiming the company needs "to be bold and make big bets to succeed," Ballmer points out that the move to a mobile-first, cloud-first world while continuing the existing software business "requires a boldness and fearlessness that I believe the management team has."

"I had not spent any time really contemplating my post-Microsoft life until my last day with the company," Ballmer admits. While claiming a "combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching, and study" will take up a lot of his time, he warns he won't be disappearing completely, stating "I hold more Microsoft shares than anyone other than index funds," and that he expects to "continue holding that position for the foreseeable future."

Responding, CEO Nadella thanks Ballmer for "all your support during my transition this year and for the past 34 years," claiming it to have been a "great privilege" to work and learn from him. "As you embark on your new journey, I am sure that you will bring the same boldness, passion and impact to your new endeavors that you brought to Microsoft, and we wish you incredible success."

Ballmer's post-Microsoft life has already gone to a great start. Yesterday, he attended a welcome rally at Staples Center attended by close to 5,000 fans, reports ESPN, with Ballmer's high-fives and chest bumping antics said to be reminiscent of the billionaire's viral videos.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Fonejacker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-11-10

    Simply the best CEO ever. Leading a company into irrelevance, despite having a strangle hold on IT for far too long. The world has just got really interesting with innovation coming from everyone and everywhere except Microsoft. The next 10 years are going to be brilliant. I feel sorry for the Clippers though.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    I agree. Pride is a hard thing to swallow and I'm sure Ballmer can't find it in himself to admit much more than he did here by stating there are "challenges". But the truth is he led the undisputed king of tech companies to become an also-ran among today's powers.

    It's reminiscent of GM. No one considers either a failure, even today; but they are no longer considered (and feared as) the king of their industries anymore either.

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