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In a letter to CEO Satya Nadella, Ballmer says he doesn’t think he can handle all of his new responsibilities on top of being a Microsoft board member.
“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,” Ballmer writes. “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.”
But he made it clear that he’s still rooting for the tech behemoth.
“I bleed Microsoft — have for 34 years and I always will,” he writes. “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 owns more Microsoft shares than anyone other than index funds, he notes in his letter, and indicates he won’t be selling his stock, but going forward he sees himself being busy with the Clippers, “civic contribution, teaching and study.”
Ballmer stepped down as Microsoft CEO on Feb. 4 of this year after 14 years at the helm. He had been with the company since 1980.
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