THE NEWS WRAP: Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board to focus on basketball

Former Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer has announced he will be stepping down as a board member at the company.

 

Ballmer, who retired six months ago, has been a member of the Microsoft board for the past 14 years.

 

He recently purchased the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise and plans to focus on running that team.

 

In a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, he says his confidence that the company is heading in the right direction, combined with a “multitude of new commitments” made it impractical to continue to serve on the board.

 

“I have confidence in our approach of mobile-first, cloud-first, and in our primary innovation emphasis on platforms and productivity and the building of capability in devices and services as core business drivers,” he says.

 

“I bleed Microsoft – I have for 34 years and I always will. I continue to love discussing the company’s future.”

 

Uber hires top Obama adviser as new campaign manager


David Plouffe, who ran United States president Barack Obama’s breakthrough 2008 election campaign, has been named Uber’s new SVP of policy and strategy, Re/code reports.

 

Last July, Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick was closing in on hiring a high profile manager to head its policy and strategy and fight “an asshole named Taxi”.

 

Lyft COO leaves company


Travis VanderZanden has left his post as COO of transportation network startup Lyft after “some level of tension with its founders, sources told Re/code.

 

VanderZanden arrived at the company after it acquired his on-demand car wash service Cherry last year.

 

Overnight


The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 80.85 to 16,919.59. The Australian dollar is currently trading at US93 cents.

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