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Play ball instead! Former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer will leave the software company's board with immediate effect, Microsoft said on Tuesday. Ballmer, who retired when Satya Nadella took over as CEO in February, recently bought the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team for $2 billion, and plans to devote much of his energy to that project. Ballmer said, in a letter to Nadella made public by Microsoft, that he intends to hold his large Microsoft stock position for the "foreseeable future."