'Busy' Ballmer Quits Microsoft

New LA Clippers owner plans to devote his time to team

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 20, 2014 12:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Steve Ballmer has decided his new role as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers hasn't left him enough free time for other responsibilities—like serving on Microsoft's board. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO for 14 years until he stepped down in February, says he is "very busy" and is stepping down with immediate effect because it would be "impractical to continue," reports the BBC. "I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching, and study taking a lot of my time," Ballmer, who took over as Clippers owner last week, wrote in a letter to new CEO Satya Nadella.

"The fall will be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the NBA season," explained Ballmer, whose term on the board was set to expire in a few months. Analysts say Ballmer's departure will make it easier for Nadella to reshape the company. "Any sort of overhang of Ballmer being on the board is now in the rear view mirror," a tech analyst tells the Wall Street Journal, which notes that Ballmer, who paid $2 billion for the Clippers, has overtaken Bill Gates as Microsoft's biggest individual shareholder and has shares worth around $15 billion. The company's share price has surged 39% since Ballmer announced plans to step down last year.

New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer gestures as he speaks at the Clippers Fan Festival on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.
New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer gestures as he speaks at the Clippers Fan Festival on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Steve Ballmer pumps up the crowd during a fan festival at the Staples Center, earlier this week.
Steve Ballmer pumps up the crowd during a fan festival at the Staples Center, earlier this week.   (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Jeff Gritchen)
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