Steve Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board

August 20, 2014 // 10:52 a.m.

Tags: #board #board-member #micro-soft #microsoft #microsoft-board #satya-nadella #steve-ballmer

Long-serving Microsoft employee Steve Ballmer has announced his retirement from the board, a year after leaving the position of chief executive officer at the company.

Ballmer joined Microsoft, previously known as Micro-Soft, as the company's first business manager and only its 30th employee in 1980. His bombastic personality, perfectly demonstrated in this somewhat over-enthusiastic advert for Windows 1.0, made him a familiar sight in the trade and mainstream press, along with reports of chair-throwing and expletive-filled tirades during staff meetings - particularly when the subject of Google came up.

Ballmer announced his retirement from the role of Microsoft chief executive in August last year, with Satya Nadella being confirmed as the new chief in February 2014. Ballmer retained his position in Microsoft's board, however - until now.

'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. I have reached some conclusions and wanted to share them with you,' Ballmer wrote in a letter to Nadella published late last night. 'I had not spent any time really contemplating my post-Microsoft life until my last day with the company. 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.

'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.
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Claiming to 'bleed Microsoft,' Ballmer confirmed in the letter that he would continue to hold a majority of Microsoft shares, and that Nadella could 'count on me to keep indeas and inputs flowing.'. 'While your insights and leadership will be greatly missed as part of the board, I understand and support your decision,' Nadella wrote in response. '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.'

Both letters can be read in full on Microsoft's website. Microsoft has not yet indicated if it plans to appoint a new board member to replace Ballmer.
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