ValueAct CEO says firm won't interfere with Microsoft strategy following investment


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer won't be impacted by ValueAct's $2 billion investment, the firm's leader says.

Jeffrey Ubben, ValueAct Capital's chief executive, confirmed his investment firm has taken a $2 billion stake in Microsoft today, although he claims his firm has no plans to do any public campaigning to impact Microsoft's strategy.

Ubben made the statements at a conference this afternoon, according to a Reuters report, though the investment was first reported by business television network CNBC this morning. Despite saying the firm won't attempt to change Microsoft's strategy, Ubben said he believes Microsoft should expand its Office productivity suite to platforms besides Windows.

Additionally, Bloomberg quotes Ubben as saying Microsoft's future will be in cloud services.

"In three to five years, which is our time horizon, we'll stop talking about PC cycles and instead talk about Microsoft as the largest cloud-computing company in the world," he said today, referring to Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform. 

After ValueAct's investment was revealed, speculation mounted that the firm may be attempting to remove Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer from his position as leader of the tech giant, though Ubben's comments about not interfering with Microsoft's strategy likely mean no such attempt will occur – at least not immediately.

Ballmer has come under fire from some investors in recent years. Most notably, well-known hedge fund manager David Einhorn said in 2011 that Ballmer needs to "give someone else a chance" and relinquish his role in the company. Despite the negativity, Microsoft posted a record quarterly revenue of $20.49 billion for the first quarter of 2013.

Source: Reuters, Bloomberg | Image via Microsoft

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13 Comments

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It is interesting how the statement was worded: "no plans to do any public campaigning to impact Microsoft's strategy.".... What about privately or when golfing....

if he invest in apple articles would speculate he invested his money on the best tech company and apple going to produce some magical product that non one ever seen ..... bla bla bla

Ok, I know $2 billion is a lot of money and all, but with a MSFT at a current market cap at ~$250 billion it's not even 1% of the shares. It's not like ValueAct has any real say with such a small piece of the pie...doesn't Ballmer own more MSFT stock on his own than they do?

I don't know about you, but if I was planning to invest $2B in some company, I'd do some elementary fact-checking first.

Obviously, ValueAct capital didn't do this before they sunk $2B into Microsoft.

The reason I say this? The quote in this article: "Microsoft should expand its Office productivity suite to platforms besides Windows."

Duh!!!

They don't appear to know any of the following:

- Microsoft Office has been available on non-Microsoft operating systems like Apple OS for about 25 years.
- Office applications, which allow users to create, view, etc. Office documents are available for many OS's.
- Microsoft makes available, for free, its Office Web applications, to view and create Office documents
- There are literally hundreds of 3rd party applications that can import, process, and export Microsoft Office files (that does not include likely thousands of proprietary enterprise Line of Business Apps that do the same).

Utter idiots!!!

Ian Easson said,
I don't know about you, but if I was planning to invest $2B in some company, I'd do some elementary fact-checking first.

Obviously, ValueAct capital didn't do this before they sunk $2B into Microsoft.

The reason I say this? The quote in this article: "Microsoft should expand its Office productivity suite to platforms besides Windows."

Duh!!!

They don't appear to know any of the following:

- Microsoft Office has been available on non-Microsoft operating systems like Apple OS for about 25 years.
- Office applications, which allow users to create, view, etc. Office documents are available for many OS's.
- Microsoft makes available, for free, its Office Web applications, to view and create Office documents
- There are literally hundreds of 3rd party applications that can import, process, and export Microsoft Office files (that does not include likely thousands of proprietary enterprise Line of Business Apps that do the same).

Utter idiots!!!


Obviously is referring to iPad and Android....

These guys know a thing or two about business. I don't think many idiots run a company that can easily invest $2bn.
Heck, if you are so smart, why aren't you running your own investment firm?

Fritzly said,

Obviously is referring to iPad and Android....

There is office 365 which is compatible with both and runs on cloud platform. Really affordable too.

You know these articles about what ValueAct want or won't do is moot. Their stake is 1% of the company, they won't even have a board seat! Ballmer owns more than 1% of MS.

MS has a slick cloud offering, Azure is a hell of a service. Loving it, just need 3rd party DevOps / IT Ops systems to embrace it