Ballmer quits board six months after retiring from 14 year stint as CEO in April
Steve Ballmer has left his role as an acting board member of Microsoft to focus on his ownership of basketball team LA Clippers, he said.
Ballmer had served the tech giant as CEO from 2000 until April 2014, following Bill Gates in to the hotseat.
During his reign, Microsoft shares almost halved from around $60 when his predecessor Bill Gates stepped down to a low of $30 a few years later. When he stepped down as CEO in April, shares rose to $40.
Ballmer started with the computing giant in 1980, becoming the 30th employee at the firm and the first business manager hired by Gates.
In an open resignation letter to current CEO Satya Nadella, Ballmer says that he has been “reflecting on my life” and now thinks “it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off”.
“I bleed Microsoft – have for 34 years and I always will,” he wrote. “I continue to love discussing the company’s future. Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can.”
Ballmer currently owns the highest single shareholding in Microsoft at four per cent of stock, and is worth an estimated $20 billion, according to Forbes.
He recently purchased NBA basketball team Los Angeles Clippers for around $2 billion.