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Ballmer’s Going Back to School Teaching at Stanford, USC

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer, former chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., speaks during a news conference after he was introduced as the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles, California, on Aug. 18, 2014. Photographer: Kevork Djansezian/Bloomberg

Steve Ballmer is going back to school.

The former head of Microsoft Corp., who dropped out of Stanford University’s business school in 1980 to become the software maker’s 30th employee, will return to the graduate school this fall to teach a course in strategic management with economics professor Susan Athey. He will also teach a class at the University of Southern California next year.

Ballmer, 58, stepped down from Microsoft’s board yesterday, eight months after his departure as chief executive officer. He graduated from Harvard University, where he met Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business for a year. Ballmer rose to the rank of president before taking over from Gates as CEO in 2000.

“This combination of an experienced practitioner with a tenured faculty member is a hallmark of the teaching experience at Stanford Graduate School of Business,” Helen Chang, a university spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Ballmer remains the Redmond, Washington-based company’s top individual shareholder and has a net worth of $20.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Ballmer officially completed his acquisition of the Los Angeles Clippers last week. At $2 billion, it was about four times what anyone’s ever paid for an NBA team. His chance came when fans and the NBA soured on previous owner Donald Sterling, who was banned for life and fined $2.5 million after a tape of him making racially derogatory comments was made public.

He’ll teach at USC’s Marshall School of Business in the spring semester, Amy Blumenthal, a spokeswoman said in an e-mail. She declined to say what course he’s planning to teach.

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