Bill Gates "Under Pressure" To Quit Microsoft
Posted: October 2, 2013 by Alex Chan
According to Reuters, three of the top investors in Microsoft are now lobbying the board of directors to get Bill Gates, Microsoft's co-founder, to step down from his position as chairman.
While Microsoft has remained mum on the matter, Reuters states the following:
"The three investors are concerned that Gates' presence on the board effectively blocks the adoption of new strategies and would limit the power of a new chief executive to make substantial changes."
These three grumpy investors, who collectively hold more than 5 percent of the company's stock, are also afraid that Gates, "who spends most of his time on his philanthropic foundation – wields power out of proportion to his declining shareholding."
As for Gates himself, who is said to own 4.5 percent of the $277 billion company, and is still the single largest individual investor, has lowered his profile at Microsoft after he handed the CEO role to Steve Ballmer in 2000. Eight years later, Gates went on to give up his day-to-day work in the company to focus on the $38 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Under Ballmer, i.e., for the past 13 years, Microsoft has proved to be less innovative than its competitors. Now that Ballmer announced his retirement, some of the investors believe there is a need for fresh blood in the company in order to stay relevant in the future. They also "point to Gates' role on the special committee searching for Ballmer's successor."
It's true that Microsoft is still one of the world's most valuable technology companies, but it has already missed the bus in the mobile market and its search engine Bing is falling behind in the fight against Google.
From the above, we can only say that big changes are ahead for Microsoft, whether Bill Gates will step down as chairman or not. After all, Microsoft is about to shape its destiny by picking its next leader.