Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced his resignation from the board of directors.
Following his decision to resign as CEO in a tear-filled video, Steve Ballmer announced in an open letter to Microsoft that “Microsoft has been my life’s work” and he was proud of that and excited by what I see in front of the company and this leadership team.
He said: “There are challenges ahead but the opportunities are even larger. No company in the world has the mix of software skills, cloud skills and hardware skills we have assembled. We draw talent as well as any company in the world. We have the profitability to invest in long-term opportunities and still deliver superior shorter term performance. You’re off to a bold and exciting start.”
He later said given his confidence and the multitude of new commitments he was taking on, it would be impractical for him to continue to serve on the board, and it was best for him 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,” he said.
“I bleed Microsoft —have for 34 years and I always will. I continue to love discussing the company’s future. I love trying new products and sending feedback. I love reading about what is going on at the company. Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing. The company will move to higher heights. I will be proud, and I will benefit through my share ownership. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can.”
Ballmer recently moved into sport ownership with the acquisition of NBA team the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion and while he may no longer be a member of the board, he is still the company’s largest individual shareholder, and he expects “to continue holding that position for the foreseeable future”.
In response, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella thanked Ballmer for his support during his transition this year and for the past 34 years. Nadella said: “It’s been a great privilege to have worked with you and learned from you. Under your leadership, we created an incredible foundation that we continue to build on — and Microsoft will thrive in the mobile-first, cloud-first world. While your insights and leadership will be greatly missed as part of the board, I understand and support your decision.
“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. “