6 months after stepping down as Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer has stepped down as the board member of the company as well. In a letter written to the current CEO, Satya Nadella, Steve expressed his desire to discontinue as the board member at Microsoft,
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. 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.
Here’s a sneak peek to the historic letter of Steve Ballmer addressing Satya Nadella.
Congratulating Satya Nadella
No company in the world has the mix of software skills, cloud skills, and hardware skills we have assembled. We draw talent as well as any company in the world. We have the profitability to invest in long-term opportunities and still deliver superior shorter term performance. You’re off to a bold and exciting start.
Need to make big and bold bets
In the mobile-first, cloud-first world, software development is a key skill, but success requires moving to monetization through enterprise subscriptions, hardware gross margins, and advertising revenues. Making that change while also managing the existing software business well requires a boldness and fearlessness that I believe the management team has. Our board must also support and encourage that fearlessness for shareholders to get the best performance from Microsoft. You must drive that.
Post-Microsoft life and holdings at Microsoft
I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time. 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.
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. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can.
Satya Nadella’s response to Steve Ballmer
First, thank you for all of your support during my transition this year and for the past 34 years. 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.
As you embark on your new journey, I am sure that you will bring the same boldness, passion and impact to your new endeavors that you brought to Microsoft, and we wish you incredible success. I also look forward to partnering with you as a shareholder.