Gates and Ballmer likely to be re-elected to Microsoft board

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.

Source: Reuters

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11 Comments

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Why would Bill Gates want to lose ownership? It sucks how taking a company public leads to the original founders losing rights to their own firm. (I know nobody is forcing Bill)

I am a 'linux fanboy' and i have no touched windows in 9 years and will never use that crap again. But I think it would be sad if Bill Gates was not the biggest shareholder in Microsoft and even worse if he was 'free of ownership. His name was always a synonym to Microsoft. He is an iconic figure. I would like to see Bill Gates remain the chairperson of Microsoft.

I don't doubt that Gates will stay as a board member, specially since he is a iconic figure, and nobody would want to repeat the case when Apple fired Jobs.

However, im not sure about Ballmer. After all, things are changed during the last year, and shareholders are not quite happy,and take note: **the price of the shares** is not the same than satisfaction of the shareholders, specially for long term shareholders. Also, it is not about windows, or windows phone, or nokia, it is about disgruntled shareholders.

They're going to see the transition to devices and services through. Would make no sense to completely ditch them, unless you have a board member trying something nefarious. These two have been at Microsoft from the beginning, hell Gates founded the company. Why block them from still being part of it?

Lastwebpage said,
MS will find any new CEO on this condition? "Hey, I have a great idea!", "No, we not like it!"...

Yes, it is a BIG deal. Both Ballmer and Gates has vetoes to pick or reject the next CEO. And, the other shareholders wants anything but a new CEO that will be a subordinate of Ballmer.