Ballmer May Step Down From Microsoft Board

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 26, 2014

steve ballmer

Steve Ballmer stepped down as the chief executive of Microsoft in January this year paving the way for Satya Nadella. However, he continued to remain a member of the board. In this post however, he may not continue for long and seems to have other plans, says sources. “Remaining on the board depends on how I see rest of my life playing out,” Ballmer said in an interview to WSJ when asked about his next plans. He also said that after 34 years with the technology company he now has a chance to think of what’s next for him.

Ballmer’s comments are similar to those he made recently at an event of the University of Oxford, his first public appearance after stepping down as CEO, where he appeared as a board member.

“I get to find some new set of things to be passionate about. I get the luxury of really trying to figure out what might be fun to make a difference in the world. And I don’t want to default to something that’s obvious, so I’m gonna take some time and really figure it out, and say ‘What will be the thing that will switch me on from age 58 to age 70?’”

Read: Steve Ballmer and bursting of the Microsoft hype

Prior to Satya Nadella’s appointment as chief executive, many Microsoft insiders and analysts had said that any new CEO will face intense pressure of working for a board that has two former CEOs as members for a long term. After Nadella was appointed CEO, Bill Gates stepped down as chairman of the board and took up an advisory role for the product team. Microsoft board members are re-elected annually, so Ballmer may quit the board by the year end, predicts analysts.

Ballmer (58) is the second-biggest Microsoft shareholder and owns 4% of the world’s biggest software maker. His stake is valued at approximately $13 billion. Even if he gives up his board membership, Ballmer would keep a keen eye on Microsoft’s performance. “I care a lot about my child, and my investment, and therefore the investment of the other owners of our company,” Ballmer said at the Oxford event.

Read: 5 big tech mistakes during Steve Ballmer’s reign