Steve Ballmer steps down from Microsoft's board

'I have become very busy' since leaving Microsoft, Ballmer says in a letter to CEO Satya Nadella

About six months after retiring as CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer has relinquished his seat on the company's board of directors effective immediately, citing a busy schedule and confidence in the company's current and future financial performance.

"As I approach the six month mark of my retirement and your appointment as CEO, I have been reflecting on my life, my ongoing ownership of Microsoft stock, and my involvement with the company," Ballmer told his successor, Satya Nadella, in a letter made public Tuesday. "I have reached some conclusions and wanted to share them with you."

Since leaving Microsoft, "I have become very busy," Ballmer added, citing his purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, civic activities and teaching. "I have confidence in our approach of mobile-first, cloud-first, and in our primary innovation emphasis on platforms and productivity."

Ballmer noted that he holds more Microsoft shares than anyone apart from index funds, and expects "to continue holding that position for the foreseeable future."

Overall, "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," Ballmer added.

Nadella thanked Ballmer in a letter of his own, which was also released Tuesday.

"It's been a great privilege to have worked with you and learned from you," Nadella said. "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. While your insights and leadership will be greatly missed as part of the board, I understand and support your decision."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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