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Ballmer resigns from Microsoft board

He may not have been as iconic as Bill Gates, but former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was a trailblazer at the 39-year-old software giant. Now he is relinquishing his seat on the company's board.

Former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said Tuesday he was stepping down from the software giant's board of directors in order to focus on managing a newly acquired basketball team, teaching business at universities and his own study.

"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," Ballmer wrote in a resignation letter to his successor, Satya Nadella.

Ballmer's departure marks the end of a 34-year career at Microsoft. The 58-year-old joined the company in 1980 when it was just a small tech start-up operating out of the Seattle suburbs.

In 2000, Ballmer succeeded co-founder Bill Gates as CEO - a position he held until February this year.

Ballmer's resignation from the board came a day after he high-fived his way into the Staples Center stadium, home of the LA Clippers, a basketball team he bought for

a record $2 billion

(1.5 billion euros) earlier this month.

cjc/uhe (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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