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Former Microsoft CEO Ballmer exits board of directors

| Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Steve Ballmer resigned from Microsoft Corp.'s board, eight months after his departure as chief executive officer, ending more than three decades of direct involvement in the world's largest software maker.

Ballmer, 58, remains Micro­soft's top individual shareholder. He had initially remained as a director after handing the top job over to one of his deputies, Satya Nadella, in February. Ballmer recently bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion and appeared in front of the team and fans on Monday, vowing to lift the team to “higher heights” and promising not to micromanage.

The former CEO's departure ends a 34-year association with Microsoft, which he led as CEO from 2000 to February. Revenue tripled under Ballmer's tenure, even as the Redmond, Wash.-based company struggled to compete with Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in areas such as mobile phones, tablet computers and Internet search.

“I want to be a great shareholder and I want to pay appropriate attention to my shares, but between teaching classes and my new responsibilities at the Clippers and my civic duties, it's a lot,” Ballmer said in an interview. “I love Microsoft.”

Ballmer's exit is the latest change to Microsoft's board. Last month, Microsoft named longtime wireless executive John Stanton to the board. In March, director Steve Luczo stepped down and in February, co-founder Bill Gates stepped aside as chairman to be replaced by lead independent director John Thompson. The board added activist investor Mason Morfit of ValueAct Holdings LP to its ranks this year.

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