An article by theverge.com reports that Steve Ballmer, one of the key members of the potential Sonics ownership group, is retiring from his position as Microsoft CEO some time in the next year. Click here to read the full article.
Here is an excerpt that quotes a related email from Ballmer to employees.
We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company's transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.
One could simply take this statement at face value and accept that Ballmer doesn't have the long term energy to see the company through the direction change.
One could also ask the question that Mike McCann asks in the following tweet.
Worth watching how Steve Ballmer retiring from Microsoft impacts Seattle's pursuit of an NBA team. Ballmer poised to take more active role.— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) August 23, 2013
I personally believe that, in spite of recent developments, Hansen will remain the primary investor and the public face of the project, but that doesn't mean Ballmer won't become more active.
I don't know if the Sonics issue factored at all into the decision to retire, but this can do nothing but help our cause. A guy with Ballmer's energy and more time on his hands?