Steve Ballmer leaves Microsoft after 34 years

Former Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer is parting ways with the company after more than three decades with the software maker.

Microsoft said Tuesday that he has stepped down from the its board of directors. Ballmer resigned as chief executive in January.

In a letter to current CEO Satya Nadella made public on Microsoft's website, Ballmer called Microsoft his "life's work." He also expressed confidence in the company's strategic direction and management, while noting that his new life precluded continued service on the board.

Ballmer in May struck a deal to buy the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion.

"I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time." Ballmer wrote.

"While your insights and leadership will be greatly missed as part of the board, I understand and support your decision," Nadella said in a letter replying to Ballmer.

Ballmer, who is worth an estimated $22 billion, isn't completely severing ties with Microsoft, where he worked for 34 years. He remains a large shareholder in the company, which will give him a voice on the company's operations.

Ballmer first met Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates when the two were sophomores at Harvard. Ballmer went on to finish his degree, rather than dropping out of undergraduate school as Gates did. Ballmer then worked for two years at Procter & Gamble (PG).

Ballmer attended Stanford University's business school, but dropped out in 1980 to join Microsoft.

  • Erik Sherman On Twitter»

    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Market Data

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Market News

Stock Watchlist