Microsoft founder and chairman of the board, Bill Gates and the outgoing CEO, Steve Ballmer are contesting re-election for positions on the Microsoft board of directors and are likely to regain them.
Gates and Ballmer are two of the largest shareholders of Microsoft with 4.5 percent and 4 percent stake respectively. Steve Ballmer recently announced that he would be retiring as Microsoft CEO after finding a successor in the coming 12 months. In a way similar to Bill Gates, Ballmer is expected to remain a part of the company as part of the board as both seek to get re-elected. It is rumored that three out of the top 20 investors of Microsoft want Bill Gates to resign as the chairman. The three investors have a combined stake of 5 percent in the company.
Steve Ballmer has previously told Wall Street analysts that he plans to remain engaged with the company as an investor even if he is not part of the board moving forward. Bill Gates who is currently the highest individual shareholder of the company has been selling off close to 80 million shares each year and is expected to be free of ownership by 2018, making Steve Ballmer the biggest shareholder by then.
Shareholders will vote for the candidates on November 19th at the company's annual meeting.