Steve Ballmer: "Nobody wanted me to leave as CEO"

Steve Ballmer on leaving Microsoft, relations... 03:27

In August 2013, Bill Gates and the rest of Microsoft's board of directors announced it would sever ties with then CEO Steve Ballmer.

Nearly a year later, the Los Angeles Clippers confirmed that Ballmer would be the new owner of the team, following a sale by the former owner Donald Sterling's wife, Shelly.

In a groundbreaking transaction, he bought the NBA team for $2 billion, something only someone with a story like his could have done.

"I joined Microsoft when we were 30 people, $2.5 million in revenue and, I don't know, a few hundred thousand in profit," Ballmer said on "CBS This Morning." "We grew from that to when I left, $80 billion in revenue, $28 billion in profit and 100,000 people."

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on taking ... 08:41

Together, he said, he and Gates not only grew the company, but in a way, also built the entire PC industry.

But that kind of success is a far cry from the man who said as a young boy, he was seriously lacking in confidence.

"I think what happens to me over time is I get my confidence doing something and then it builds and then I'm fine and then something new comes along, and you never quite go back to the way you were when you were seven," Ballmer explained.

While his conviction as Microsoft CEO helped secure the Nokia acquisition, the move also lead to his stepping down.

"Nobody wanted me to leave as CEO," he said. "We had a lot of tough discussions about whether to buy Nokia."

But the timing of the decision did come after a series of blunders by Microsoft.

Their Zune mp3 player couldn't compete, Windows 8 was heavily criticized and the Windows phone was drowned by Apple and Google's domination of the market.

"All along the way we've appreciated mobile, but we're not winning in mobile," Ballmer said. "There's a difference between saying, 'Hey, you were asleep,' and saying, 'Hey, you didn't put the formula together right.' We didn't."

Nevertheless, Ballmer hoped purchasing Nokia would help shrink the gap and obtain better control over how mobile hardware works with the company's software.

When the deal went through, Ballmer insisted they appoint a new CEO who could take the company forward.

"They said, 'We'd like you to stay,'" he recalled. "And I said, 'No, let's do this now, let's make a transition,' and then let Satya Nadella, who wound up being chosen as my ultimate successor, really build this next generation of Microsoft that's about the cloud. And it's about mobile, it's about hardware and it's about software."

Microsoft CEO apologizes after comment on sal... 03:02

But it didn't take long for the company to attract more criticism.

Current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently fell into some hot water at a women's tech conference when he insisted it was bad karma for a women to ask for a raise.

"When you're the CEO of a big company, you have to be thinking about sort of seven dimensions of everything you say," Ballmer said. "Satya spoke about his personal experience ... and that's his genuine belief in life. But you do have people who don't necessarily get a fair shake through the process, particularly a group of women in technology...and so relating to his personal experience, probably not what that group needed to hear at that time, despite the fact that, you know, it would be a nice world if things worked out that way."

For Ballmer, things have worked out pretty well. Although he's no longer CEO of the tech giant, he still maintains the title as the largest stock holder, with 333.3 million shares worth $15 billion.

You can be sure he wasn't complaining then, when Microsoft shares rose about 24 percent nearly a year after he stepped down.

Read what Ballmer had to say about his purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers.