Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced yesterday that he would be stepping down from the Microsoft board. Ballmer had been a part of the board of directors of the company for almost 14 years before he quit.
Back when Nadella took over the CEO position, Ballmer still remained a part of the company as a member of the board of directors. But after today, he will have no official affiliation with the company. So, his amazing run at Microsoft finally comes to an end.
While there have been a lot of changes at Microsoft since Nadella became the CEO, Ballmer quit his position because he wanted to focus on other areas. He recently bought the Los Angeles Clippers Basketball team for a record $2 billion. And he said that he wants to work actively as the owner of the team starting this fall. This among other interests like teaching and civic contribution would leave very little time for him to act as a member of the board, so he decided to quit the company.
“I think it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off,” Mr. Ballmer said in a public letter to Mr. Satya Nadella, the present CEO of the company. “I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time.”
With Ballmer gone and Gates no longer the company Chairman, Nadella will have much more freedom to take the company in a direction that he feels is beneficial in the long run. He has already taken many bold decisions including the one to cut 18,000 jobs at the company. Some of them even rectified the decisions of the former CEO. For example, Microsoft entered into a strategic partnership with SalesForce, which was earlier considered to be a rival. Ballmer and SalesForce CEO Marc didn’t have a very good relationship which made a partnership like this virtually impossible.
Although Ballmer is officially out of Microsoft, he adds that he would still continue to pitch in ideas and inputs in the company. He further says that he has been a part of the company for the last 34 years, which means he basically bleeds Microsoft.
He still remains the largest individual shareholder of Microsoft with around 3.99 percent shares. The overall value of these shares is more than $15 billion.
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