“I Bleed Microsoft”: Steve Quits Board For LA Clippers
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has stepped down from the Board of Directors, to focus on his basketball team, The LA Clippers.
The bombastic Ballmer worked at Redmond-based software giant for 34 years having retired as CEO in February, and said “I bleed Microsoft – have for 34 years and I always will,” in a letter to his successor, Satya Nadella.
“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.”
However, the new Clippers boss will retain his shareholding in the Windows giant, which has undergone several major strategy changes under new CEO Nadella, as Microsoft fights for a place in the mobile and tablet centric world.
Ballmer, 58, still holds more than 333.3 million company shares and is one of the largest individual shareholders. He was renowned for his loud, brash management style and held the top job at Redmond for more than 10 years.
“Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing,” he told Nadella.
But he warned the new CEO of the huge challenge ahead and said Microsoft “will need to be bold and make big bets to succeed in this new environment. In the mobile-first, cloud-first world, software development is a key skill, but success requires moving to monetization through enterprise subscriptions, hardware gross margins, and advertising revenues.”
But, he added, “no company in the world has the mix of software skills, cloud skills, and hardware skills we have assembled.”
“Making that change while also managing the existing software business well requires a boldness and fearlessness that I believe the management team has.”
Nadella thanked his former boss for his support during the CEO transition and for the past 34 years.
“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 While your insights and leadership will be greatly missed as part of the board, I understand and support your decision.
“I am sure that you will bring the same boldness, passion and impact to your new endeavors that you brought to Microsoft, and we wish you incredible success.”
Microsoft shares rose slightly to $45.33 yesterday.
Image credit: AP