Ex-Microsoft Boss Steve Ballmer Quits Board
Steve Ballmer has announced he is leaving Microsoft's board of directors, just months after signing off as chief executive.
The 58-year-old, who was with the tech giant for more than 30 years, agreed a $2bn (£1.2bn) deal to buy the Los Angeles Clippers in May.
In a letter to current CEO Satya Nadella, he said he planned to spend more time running the NBA team and working in education.
Mr Ballmer, whose resignation will take effect immediately, stood down as chief executive in February, saying it was time for Microsoft to head in a "new direction".
The company had been struggling to reposition itself in an ultra-competitive sector and had endured several software release problems, including around the Windows 8 operating system.
In his farewell note, Mr Ballmer, who will remain as a shareholder, wrote: "I bleed Microsoft - I have for 34 years and I always will.
"I continue to love discussing the company's future. I love trying new products and sending feedback. I love reading about what's going on at the company.
"Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing. The company will move to higher heights."
Mr Nadella said it had been a "great privilege" to have worked with his predecessor, who he said had created an "incredible foundation".
"While your insights and leadership will be greatly missed as part of the board, I understand and support your decision," he said.
"As you embark on your new journey, I am sure that you will bring the same boldness, passion and impact to your new endeavours that you brought to Microsoft, and we wish you incredible success."