Newspaper article International New York Times

Ballmer Relinquishes Last Role at Microsoft, Citing New Duties ; Ex-Chief Leaves the Board as a New Leader Seeks to Reinvigorate the Company

Newspaper article International New York Times

Ballmer Relinquishes Last Role at Microsoft, Citing New Duties ; Ex-Chief Leaves the Board as a New Leader Seeks to Reinvigorate the Company

Article excerpt

His departure from the board was expected by many inside and outside Microsoft after he was pressured by the board last year to speed up his retirement.

Steven A. Ballmer's era at Microsoft has come to a full stop.

Mr. Ballmer, the company's former chief executive, resigned on Tuesday as a member of Microsoft's board, his primary remaining affiliation with the company after leaving the top job in February.

Mr. Ballmer said in a resignation letter on Microsoft's website that a combination of new responsibilities, including his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, made him too busy to serve on the board. He also said he was pleased with the direction that Microsoft was taking under its new chief executive, Satya Nadella, to whom the letter was addressed.

"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," Mr. Ballmer wrote in his letter. "The fall will be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the N.B.A. season, so my departure from the board is effective immediately."

Mr. Ballmer's departure from the board was expected by many people inside and outside the company after he was pressured by the board last year to speed up his retirement from Microsoft. His $2 billion purchase of the Clippers, a record deal for an N.B.A. team that was completed last week, gave Mr. Ballmer a new focus for his attention.

It was unclear on Tuesday when Mr. Ballmer decided to leave the board. Whatever the timing, Mr. Ballmer, 58, made it clear in a Clippers news conference in Los Angeles on Monday that he planned to be an involved team owner.

As he prowled a stage next to Clippers players, Mr. Ballmer gave out his team email address to fans and told them that he liked to be called Steve, rather than Mr. …

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