You may have heard, people in Northern California are none too happy about a deal to sell their Sacramento Kings to a Seattle investment group that includes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, which plans to bring the team up here and call it the Sonics.
But should Microsoft take the blame? No way, says the company.
A week after a California politician called for a review of the company’s technology contracts with the state, Microsoft is going on record to make it clear that Ballmer’s role in the Seattle group is independent of his role at the software company.
The Sacramento Bee quotes a Microsoft spokeswoman, “The effort to build a new professional sports arena in Seattle was initiated and is led by San Francisco-based developer, Chris Hansen, who has announced a number of investors, including Steve Ballmer. Microsoft Corporation is not involved in the effort.”
Last week, in what was clearly a grandstanding move, California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinburg sent a letter to the California Department of General Services, citing Ballmer’s involvement in the Kings deal and asking for details of Microsoft’s contracts with the state.
He wrote, “As a state legislator, I am well aware that I have no direct role in the day-to-day management of the State’s technology procurement processes, but I cannot stand idly by while a prominent out-of-state company that has significantly profited from business with the State of California actively attempts to acquire and remove one of my State and my region’s leading private assets.”