Ballmer was Microsoft’s 30th employee, its first business manager and was the top Vole for over a decade. Now, after 34 years with the company, Ballmer is leaving behind his last foot hold in the company — a seat on the board.
In a letter to Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO, Ballmer explained that he’s leaving the company’s board of directors effective immediately because he has become a little too busy playing with his NBA team.
Ballmer wrote that he saw a combination of Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking up a lot of time.
He will still me keeping his fortune tied up in Voleware and most of the letter is spent encouraging Nadella and giving advice.
“Microsoft will need to be bold and make big bets to succeed in this new environment,” he told Nadella. “Our board must also support and encourage that fearlessness for shareholders to get the best performance from Microsoft. You must drive that.”
He also worried about Microsoft’s stock performance: outside of index funds, probably because he still owns more Microsoft shares than anyone.
“I bleed Microsoft, have for 34 years and I always will,” he concluded. “I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can.”
Nadella wrote back that Microsoft will thrive in “the mobile-first, cloud-first world”.
Sadly the place will be a lot quieter now that Steve has gone.