Steve Ballmer, a former chief executive officer of Microsoft who spent 34 years at the company in total, said that he will step down as a board member of the software giant. This will mark the end of his career at Microsoft and will eliminate any influence that Mr. Ballmer has had on the company.
“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,” said Mr. Ballmer in a statement. “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.”
Throughout his career at Microsoft Mr. Ballmer did a lot to make the company very successful. But while back in the past Steve Ballmer was clearly an effective and fruitful executive, in the recent years he failed to make Microsoft a strong company in the mobile-first, cloud-first world. Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Windows RT initiatives have not paid off and the Windows 8 operating system has received a lot of criticism from market observers. As a result, it is logical for Mr. Ballmer to leave all positions at Microsoft in order to avoid all potential tensions between his views and the views of the new management.
Satya Nadella, the new chief executive officer of Microsoft, thanked Mr. Ballmer for his job and accepted his resignation.
“As you embark on your new journey, 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,” said Mr. Nadella. “I also look forward to partnering with you as a shareholder.”
Mr. Ballmer will remain Microsoft’s largest individual shareholders for the foreseeable future, he indicated.
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KitGuru Says: The resignation of Steve Ballmer was generally expected simply because it was clear that his vision about Microsoft is vastly different from the vision of Satya Nadella. What is a bit surprising is that he decided to step down from the board of directors just six months after he left the CEO office…