Shirley was president of Microsoft from 1983 to 1990 and oversaw the company’s massive expansion from being a simple operating systems supplier to a global software company. He stepped down from the role of president in 1990 but has remained on the board of directors.
“Having turned 70 years old this year, I’m at a point in my life where I want to reduce my professional commitments and allow more time pursuing some of my personal interests,” Shirley said.
“I could only make this decision knowing that Microsoft is well-positioned for success in the years ahead. I have the utmost confidence in the leadership of Microsoft and believe we have established the strongest board in the history of the company.”
Shirley lists his hobbies collecting, restoring, showing and racing vintage Ferraris and collecting contemporary art.
He spent 25 years at Tandy before joining the fledgling software company and has been closely involved with Microsoft’s development ever since. He famously refused to upgrade his second computer to Vista after his negative experiences with the first one.
“It has been my privilege to work with Jon in multiple roles at Microsoft over the past 25 years,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft chief executive officer.
“We are grateful for his incredible leadership and dedication and fully understand his desire to retire considering his extensive service to the company.”
Former Microsoft president steps down
By Iain Thomson on Jun 18, 2008 11:19AM