Steve Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board to Focus Energy on Los Angeles Clippers

Paul Lilly

Ex-Microsoft chief cuts last remaining tie to go all-in with the Clippers

Admit it, you miss Steve Ballmer, even if just a little bit, right? Okay, so maybe some of you don't -- perhaps you're still holding a grudge over Windows 8, or perhaps Ballmer's slow play into mobile has you shaking your head. He hasn't always made the right decisions during his time at Microsoft, but nobody can question his passion. Now it's the Los Angeles Clippers organization and fan base that will get to see his antics on a consistent basis. In an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Ballmer announced he's stepping down as a board member at Microsoft , thus truly marking the end of a 34-year run with the company.

It's been nearly six months since Ballmer relinquished his role as CEO of Microsoft, and now that he's no longer on the board of directors, his only remaining tie with the organization is that of a shareholder, which anyone can become with a $45 investment. Ballmer said it would be "impractical" to remain on the board as he takes on teaching responsibilities and the constant demands of owning an NBA franchise after acquiring the Clippers for $2 billion.

He offered some parting advice for Nadella, telling him that "Microsoft will need to be bold and make big bets to succeed in this new environment." Ballmer believes the future success of Microsoft lies in part with enterprise subscriptions, hardware, and advertising revenues. He also imparted plenty of optimism and said Nadella is free to bounce ideas off of him.

"I bleed Microsoft — have for 34 years and I always will. I continue to love discussing the company’s future. I love trying new products and sending feedback. I love reading about what is going on at the company," Ballmer wrote in his letter to Nadella. "Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing. The company will move to higher heights. I will be proud, and I will benefit through my share ownership. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can."

As for Ballmer's future, he's already made his presence and style know to Clipper nation during a fan rally in which he brought his usual high energy and fervor. You can watch the fan rally below.

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