Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has resigned from his position as a member of Microsoft’s Board of Directors, completing the process of his departure from the company where he made his name and fortune.
Ballmer penned a letter that was posted on this official Microsoft page on Wednesday in which he announced his decision. The letter was addressed to current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who took over for Ballmer earlier this year. In the letter, Ballmer cited his new role as owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, among other reasons and commitments, for his decision to step down from the board.
“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,” Ballmer wrote.
Ballmer praised the company that he helped to mold and shape — he was employee number 30, after all, having worked at Microsoft for 34 years. In his resignation letter, he described what he thinks is next for the company, while also commending Nadella for the work he has done so far.
“There are challenges ahead but the opportunities are even larger,” Ballmer said. “No company in the world has the mix of software skills, cloud skills, and hardware skills we have assembled. You’re off to a bold and exciting start.”
Ballmer also gave his two cents on what he thinks Microsoft must do in order to be even more successful.
“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,” Ballmer said. “Making that change while also managing the existing software business well requires a boldness and fearlessness that I believe the management team has.”
During his tenure as Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer had his ups and downs. Microsoft experienced great successes with Ballmer at the helm, including Windows XP, Windows 7, and Xbox. Microsoft also suffered through tremendous failures under Ballmer’s direction. Notable among them are the Zune MP3 player and Windows 8, among others.
Steve Ballmer was introduced as the new owner of the Clippers earlier this week during a fan rally. You can watch a full clip of his appearance at the event below, courtesy of YouTube. Then weigh in in our comment section: Do you think the company is stronger without him? Or has Microsoft lost its greatest champion?