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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