Steve Ballmer has quit his post on the Microsoft board just six months after handing over the reins as chief executive to his successor Satya Nadella.
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Ballmer said he has “become very busy” in the past six months with his purchase of the LA Clippers basketball team, civic contributions, teaching and study, and that to continue to server on the board would be “impractical”.
“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,” he said in an open letter to Nadella.
Ballmer announced his impending retirement in August 2013 and left his job as chief executive in February after more than 14 years in the role and more than 30 years at the company.
However, he revealed that he still holds more Microsoft shares than any other individual, and said he would hold on to them for the "foreseeable future".
“I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can,” he said.
Analysts said that although he stepping down from the board, Ballmer has made it clear he can still influence the company and that he wants to ensure it goes in the right direction.
In response, Nadella thanked Ballmer for his support in his first six months as CEO.
“Under your leadership, we created an incredible foundation that we continue to build on – and Microsoft will thrive in the mobile-first, cloud-first world,” Nadella wrote.
This is the mission statement he set for Microsoft in his first email to staff as CEO.
“Our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation,” he said at the time.