Steve Ballmer considers future, may step down from Microsoft board

Steve Ballmer says that after 34 years of being with Microsoft, he now has a chance to decide on his future.
By Ananth Baliga  |  March 24, 2014 at 4:38 PM
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REDMOND, Wash., March 24 (UPI) -- Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is beginning to consider his future, and whether he will remain on the company's board of directors.

"It really as much as anything depends on how I see the rest of my life playing out," Ballmer told The Wall Street Journal, referring to his plans for remaining on the board of directors.

Ballmer 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 three weeks ago at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford, his first public appearance after stepping down as CEO.

"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?'"

Ballmer at present is the second largest shareholder at Microsoft, behind Bill Gates. But Gates has been selling his shares in Microsoft, and Ballmer could become the largest single shareholder sometime in June.

Ballmer still retains his spot on the Microsoft board along with Gates. Gates relinquished chairmanship of the board to John Thompson, a former IBM and Symantec executive. Gates said that he would assist newly-instated CEO Satya Nadella on product and technology issues.

Many have said the presence of two former CEOs on the board could possibly have a negative impact on Nadella's performance. The two board members are formidable personalities in the tech industry and the company and could be a little overbearing for Nadella.

Ballmer said that even if he does leave Microsoft at some later date he will always have a vested interest in the company.

"I own 4 percent of Microsoft. I care a lot about my child. And my investment," said Ballmer.

[Wall Street Journal] [ComputerWorld]

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