Steve Ballmer quits Microsoft board as NBA season approaches

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has stepped down from the software giant's board with immediate effect as he focuses on life after retirement.

In a letter to the current CEO, Satya Nadella, Ballmer said that while he has bled Microsoft for 34 years and "always will" the time for him to step down has arrived.

Ballmer has just splashed out $2 billion on the LA Clippers basketball team and helping the franchise to win championships will take up a significant chunk of his time.

"In the six months since leaving, I have become very busy. I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time," Ballmer explained.

"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."

Ballmer not cash out of the company, as he believes Microsoft has a strategy in place to to monetise cloud-based products, increase hardware gross margins and advertising revenues.

"I hold more Microsoft shares than anyone other than index funds and love the mix of profits, investments and dividends returned in our stock. I expect to continue holding that position for the foreseeable future," he continued.

"I have confidence in our approach of mobile-first, cloud-first, and in our primary innovation emphasis on platforms and productivity and the building of capability in devices and services as core business drivers."

Ballmer announced he would be retiring in August 2013, and the firm's share price jumped by nine per cent. During his time with Microsoft, he was known for his energetic keynote speeches and for continuously professing his love for all things Microsoft. Judging by the video below, retirement hasn't dampened his enthusiasm, and he is likely to be one of the NBA's more colourful characters.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.