Steve Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board

Steve Ballmer has stepped down from the Microsoft board, saying he “bleeds” Microsoft, but needs more time for his teaching and basketball team.

Ballmer stepped down as the CEO of Microsoft earlier this year, with the role taken up by Satya Nadella, but for the past six months has stayed on the board. He last week bought the LA Clippers basketball team, for $2 billion – and he’s leaving now ahead of the start of the season.

“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,” he said in a letter to Nadella, published by Microsoft.

I bleed Microsoft — have for 34 years and I always will

“Given my confidence [in Microsoft] 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,” he added. “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 stressed he backs Nadella’s changes at the company – even mentioning the CEO’s “mobile-first, cloud-first” mantra – and pointed out that he still holds more shares than any other individual, and has no plans to change that in the “foreseeable future”.

He also promised to keep sending ideas and feedback to Nadella, saying: “I bleed Microsoft — have for 34 years and I always will.”

Ballmer hasn’t lost his famous enthusiasm or energy as a public speaker – watch the video of his press conference after buying the Clippers.

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