After co-founder Bill Gates stepped down as the company’s CEO, it was Steve Ballmer who took his place. His reign spanned decades, only to come to an end last year, when he announced in August that his replacement will be brought onboard within the next 12 months. Earlier this year Microsoft finally confirmed who takes Ballmer’s place, its Satya Nadella. Ballmer remains on the board of directors, but he might step out sooner than most people expected.
Ballmer also happens to be one of the biggest individual shareholders of the world’s largest software company, so it goes without saying that his views carry some influence. However, the executive shakeup did bring some change. Bill Gates stepped down as chairman of the board and returned to advise Nadella, Ballmer retained his seat despite rumors that other members wanted him out.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Ballmer says that he hasn’t been talking much in recent board meetings because serving just as a director feels “different,” given that he’s no longer CEO. Though he doesn’t explicitly say that he’s going to leave the company, Ballmer tells the scribe that his decision to continue sitting on the board depends on “how I see [the] rest of my life playing out.”
Since he hasn’t confirmed his plans to leave, its unclear what his role at the company is going to be, and what he’ll set out to accomplish once he leaves the company that he gave decades to.