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Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer moves off board of directors

Leaves to focus on NBA team management, teaching and study

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has stepped down from his seat on the company's board of directors.

Balmer confirmed his move, effective immediately, in a public message to current CEO Satya Nadella posted Wednesday. Ballmer cited his recent purchase of NBA team the Los Angeles Clippers, study and teaching as reasons for his departure.

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"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," said Ballmer.

"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."

But as a major shareholder, Ballmer pledges to continue offering his input into the company.

"Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing. The company will move to higher heights. I will be proud, and I will benefit through my share ownership. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can," he said.

Ballmer announced plans to retire from his long-served role as CEO in August last year. In an internal e-mail sent to Microsoft employees, Ballmer said he felt that the company needed "a CEO who will be here longer term" in order to overlook its "transformation to a devices and services company".

Steve Ballmer became Microsoft's 30th employee when he joined the firm in 1980.

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