Steve Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to focus on L.A. Clippers by Benjamin Snyder @FortuneMagazine August 19, 2014, 3:52 PM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft MSFT , announced Tuesday he will step down from the software giant’s board. The outspoken Ballmer cited his purchase of the L.A. Clippers — which he recently acquired from Donald and Shelly Sterling in a record deal — as one of the main reasons behind the move. In an open letter to current CEO Satya Nadella, Ballmer wrote: “I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time.” He added: “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.” Nadella responded to Ballmer by thanking him for his support during the transition process: “As you embark on your new journey, I am sure that you will bring the same boldness, passion and impact to your new endeavors that you brought to Microsoft, and we wish you incredible success,” Nadella wrote. Ballmer has been involved with Microsoft for the last 34 years. He left his position as CEO of the Redmond, Wa., -based company in February.