A little over six months after stepping down as CEO of Microsoft and handing the reins of the company over to Satya Nadella, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Steve Ballmer is also resigning from his seat on the Microsoft board[/inlinetweet]. For the first time in 34 years, Ballmer’s only role with Microsoft will be as a shareholder and customer.
Ballmer recently took over as owner of the LA Clippers NBA franchise, and appears poised to bring his same gregarious, boisterous leadership style to that organization that helped him lead Microsoft.
A post on Geekwire contains the complete text of the letter Ballmer wrote to Nadella resigning from the board, as well as a written response from Nadella accepting the resignation, and thanking Ballmer for his decades of service to Microsoft.
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. I have confidence in our approach of mobile-first, cloud-first, and in our primary innovation emphasis on platforms and productivity and the building of capability in devices and services as core business drivers. I hold more Microsoft shares than anyone other than index funds and love the mix of profits, investments and dividends returned in our stock. I expect to continue holding that position for the foreseeable future.
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.
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.
Love him or hate him, the Ballmer era at Microsoft is a memorable one, and he will not be forgotten. Only history will be able to decide if his tenure was a success, or the beginning of the end for Microsoft’s dominant role in technology.
How do you think history will reflect Ballmer’s tenure at Microsoft? Tell me in the comments below…