Microsoft offering activist investor ValueAct a spot on its board

Microsoft has officially announced it will be offering a spot on its board of directors to Mason Morfit, the president of ValueAct Capital Management, several months after the noted activist investment firm bought a $2 billion stake in Microsoft.

According to Reuters, Morfit will be given the option to join Microsoft's board after its yearly shareholders meeting, which is usually held in the fall. There's no word yet on whether Morfit will actually accept Microsoft's offer. If he does, he will become the 10th member of the board. ValueAct cannot launch a hostile proxy contest that would seek to elect new directors to the board as part of this new agreement.

Microsoft's offer to ValueAct came just a week after Microsoft's long time CEO Steve Ballmer announced his upcoming retirement from the company. In April, when it was first announced that ValueAct has put some of its money into Microsoft, rumors started that the firm wanted to try to force Microsoft to remove Ballmer as CEO. However, Jeffrey Ubben, ValueAct's chief executive, said later that the firm has no interest in changing Microsoft's current business strategy.

If the search for Ballmer's replacement as CEO continues for several months, Morfit and ValueAct could be a factor in whomever is picked to take over as leader of the company.

Source: Reuters | Image via Microsoft

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Is it just me, or is $2B only 0.7% of Microsoft? Do shareholders with that kind of stake, have the power to affect things such as replacing the CEO?

tanybeen said,
Is it just me, or is $2B only 0.7% of Microsoft? Do shareholders with that kind of stake, have the power to affect things such as replacing the CEO?

blackmailing?

Giving sits to money hungry investors would be the downfall of Microsoft. More focus on short tem profit costing long term profit and innovation.