Investors Press Bill Gates To Go After Ballmer Departure

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Investors Press Bill Gates To Go After Ballmer Departure

The investors hold over 5% of Microsoft stock.

Three among the top 20 investors in Microsoft are alleged to be pressing Bill Gates to leave his position as Chairman, after the departure of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's former CEO and employee #30. These investors, who jointly hold over 5% of Microsoft's stock, are clinging to anonymity, according to Reuters, as the discussions are being held behind closed doors. Gates holds 4.5% of Microsoft's stock, the largest shareholding owned by an individual. The three pushing for Gates to go are concerned that Gates wields a power out of all proportion to his actual standing in the company - Gates is far more focused on his philanthropy these days than the company he co-founded - and worry that Gates will interfere in the selection of Ballmer's successor, or even the policies that Ballmer's successor follows.

Though Gates' is the largest individual shareholding, that may change. Under a set program, Gates automatically sells 80 million Microsoft shares each year. At that rate, he will have sold his entire holding within the next five years. Reaction to the news has been mixed. While some analysts view Gates' possible departure as a breath of fresh air - Microsoft's stock price has been stagnant for years, one of the reasons why Ballmer had to go - others hope that Gates will step up and become the technology visionary Microsoft so desperately needs. But that assumes that the man who stepped down from day to day operations in 2006, and who's more concerned these days with the Gates Foundation, still has what it takes to be a technology visionary.

One thing worth noting is that Ballmer's strategy, before he left the company, was to focus on making devices, like Surface and the Xbox, and turning key software into services provided via the internet. Some investors have argued that a new CEO should not be bound by that strategy, and if these are those same investors pushing for Gates' departure - and they get it - then perhaps, just perhaps, the day's not long off when Microsoft isn't a device maker any more. It's not as if the idea of selling Xbox hasn't been raised before, and Xbox One's debut this November could be rocky. We shall see.

Source: Reuters

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So they basically want ol' Billy to become Steve Jobs or go home, eh? I don't know if the guy has it in him, considering how long he's been out of the game. I think they really do have a pretty good point in that at this point he's pretty much just a figure-head.

This does make me wonder what will be in store for the Xbox. I'd imagine this could play out as being one of the final death blows to the thing (getting a new CEO in general, not necessarily Bill leaving). Certainly seems like "The Investors" *dun-dun-dunnnnnn!* would like to abandon it seeing as how they apparently didn't like what Ballmer was doing with the MS company and its focuses.

So the likes of Office 365 and the Xbone may get the chop?

Good.

Ah, and microsoft is already falling apart from the inside, and we didnt even get them spewing hatred of how all those people who wont buy thier console "didnt udnerstand them".

Capcha: blog this.
well capcha want me to destract traffic from escapist. evil capcha.

Yeah, no. The guy uses most of the profits he earns to give back to charity and other foundations. They want him to leave and sell his stock just so other individuals can get richer? What jerks. I hope he stays and says a big fuck you to the sharehodlers trying to pull this.

Well, considering that this man made Microsoft what it was before Ballmer started tearing it to pieces, maybe those three Anons should go ahead and shut the fuck up. Microsoft is taking hits left and right nowadays and they thing it's a grand idea to rock the boat even more with internal struggle. Methinks these Anions are far more worried that the next CEO might take the smart way out and reduce stock pay in favour of R&D.

Focusing a software company like Microsoft on making hardware was always a bizarre choice, and has not given them any real measure of success. Meanwhile, the Windows line has been degrading, and they face an increasingly dwindling usage of their old OS. Their late (and half-assed) attempt to go into tablets/smartphone OS's with Win8 won't cut it.

IndomitableSam:
Yeah, no. The guy uses most of the profits he earns to give back to charity and other foundations. They want him to leave and sell his stock just so other individuals can get richer? What jerks. I hope he stays and says a big fuck you to the sharehodlers trying to pull this.

I hope he buys more shares and takes over to spite them. He knew how to run Microsoft, things haven't been the same since he left.

Gates coming back to power could actually really give Microsoft a boost. They could use somebody like him.

I think now's the time to do a loyalty check with these shareholders... Perhaps see if they take the cash, shut up and go away if Bill offers to buy their stock? You can't tell me he can't do it, he IS one of the richest men in the world after all...

So the cubs grew up, only to tear the alpha male to shreds.

Bill Gates built a billionaire company, I wouldn't question him.

Ed130:
So the likes of Office 365 and the Xbone may get the chop?

Good.

Not good. Without the console competition Sony won't have to innovate or behave like a boy scout.

Adam Jensen:

Ed130:
So the likes of Office 365 and the Xbone may get the chop?

Good.

Not good. Without the console competition Sony won't have to innovate or behave like a boy scout.

It might induce Valve to be more aggressive, or may allow Nintendo to stick their hands in the AAA market properly. Or it might allow another company to put out a wildly popular console.

PS and Xbox are not the be-all-end-all consoles.

Adam Jensen:

Ed130:
So the likes of Office 365 and the Xbone may get the chop?

Good.

Not good. Without the console competition Sony won't have to innovate or behave like a boy scout.

Competition requires the opponent to be competent, something that modern MS clearly isn't.

Besides Valve's recent big push might end up taking up the challenge and not crashing and burning horribly.

The very fact that there's no clear agreement whether the problem is too much Gates interfering too much with his old company or Gates not interfering enough in his old company strongly suggests the three behind that 5% should put a sock in it. In five years, Gates will apparently be irrelevant to the company's operation; in the meantime, barring a truly coherent vision of the direction Microsoft should proceed that Gates impedes, blaming him for the company's woes seems foolish.

lacktheknack:

It might induce Valve to be more aggressive, or may allow Nintendo to stick their hands in the AAA market properly. Or it might allow another company to put out a wildly popular console.

PS and Xbox are not the be-all-end-all consoles.

You mean like how a lot of fans of Valve want the new Steam machine to be the end all to be all?.

The exact same could go for the supposed "new wild popular console", besides Nintendo (who have been doing their own thing for a very long time) I can't see anyone else trying to take over everything and we shouldn't have one take everything.

At the end of the day we don't want one of them to monopolise everything just because a few want it that way.

Shadow-Phoenix:

lacktheknack:

It might induce Valve to be more aggressive, or may allow Nintendo to stick their hands in the AAA market properly. Or it might allow another company to put out a wildly popular console.

PS and Xbox are not the be-all-end-all consoles.

You mean like how a lot of fans of Valve want the new Steam machine to be the end all to be all?.

The exact same could go for the supposed "new wild popular console", besides Nintendo (who have been doing their own thing for a very long time) I can't see anyone else trying to take over everything and we shouldn't have one take everything.

At the end of the day we don't want one of them to monopolise everything just because a few want it that way.

How did that relate to anything I said?

Like... at all?

I said that, if Xbox dies, it's likely that another contender would step up to the plate before Sony got derpy.

Karloff:

One thing worth noting is that Ballmer's strategy, before he left the company, was to focus on making devices, like Surface and the Xbox, and turning key software into services provided via the internet. Some investors have argued that a new CEO should not be bound by that strategy, and if these are those same investors pushing for Gates' departure - and they get it - then perhaps, just perhaps, the day's not long off when Microsoft isn't a device maker any more.

Okay, so what't the alternative strategy? Stick with a desktop OS market that's doomed to shrink as technological maturity makes upgrades increasingly unnecessary? Keep planing to be selling operating systems thirty years from now, when open source has finally caught up enough to provide a competitive product for free?

MS needs to move into new markets. Their entire business model was formed when the industry was young, and it's in danger of becoming obsolete and leaving them without a leg to stand on. How many companies are actually in the business of selling software aimed at non-business or professionals anymore aside from video games?

lacktheknack:

Shadow-Phoenix:

lacktheknack:

It might induce Valve to be more aggressive, or may allow Nintendo to stick their hands in the AAA market properly. Or it might allow another company to put out a wildly popular console.

PS and Xbox are not the be-all-end-all consoles.

You mean like how a lot of fans of Valve want the new Steam machine to be the end all to be all?.

The exact same could go for the supposed "new wild popular console", besides Nintendo (who have been doing their own thing for a very long time) I can't see anyone else trying to take over everything and we shouldn't have one take everything.

At the end of the day we don't want one of them to monopolise everything just because a few want it that way.

How did that relate to anything I said?

Like... at all?

I said that, if Xbox dies, it's likely that another contender would step up to the plate before Sony got derpy.

You mentioned Valve which automatically makes you a fanboi .. er .... somehow. *shrugs* Damned if I know.

I'd love to see Microsoft spin off or close their damned device division. Their whole company has become crap since they started it.

Some MS Shareholders: stop meddling Bill Gates!
Other MS Shareholders: save us Bill Gates!
Bill Gates: You're not malaria, why should I care?

They don't need Gates to step up and become a technological visionary. They need Gates to orientate MS towards consumers rather than other companies.

All Microsoft needs is a CEO with a customer first mentality. This crap they've been doing with their OS and hardware lately where they tell customers what they should want and what the future is and then proceed to try and force it on us (even after we complain about it) is insane. A great way to lose customers.

The first and easiest example is the loss of the start button. It should be optional but they decided to force it on anyone upgrading to win8 just so that it'd work well remotely and "that's the future!". They even added a start button that pushes people to the metro menu which does avoid the crappy hover interface to get back there but doesn't give customers back the menu they actually want. All previous OS' had skins of earlier OS's. Win7 even allows you to install a free XP VM. But win8 says "my way or the highway" and so win7 sales are still strong. Why should Microsoft care if the client wants to use the traditional start menu? I work with large firms who have literally gone to third party apps to install a start menu on Win8 and Server 2012 environments. Without it, remote management is incredibly difficult with the absence of hot keys (if you are remoted into a machine and press the windows button or ctrl+most things, it prompts something on your actual machine rather than on the machine you're remoted into).

Then you have stuff like the anti-consumer actions of the XBO just because they want to force a future on consumers we don't want. That's got to change.

DVS BSTrD:
They don't need Gates to step up and become a technological visionary. They need Gates to orientate MS towards consumers rather than other companies.

Exactly.

lacktheknack:

How did that relate to anything I said?

Like... at all?

I said that, if Xbox dies, it's likely that another contender would step up to the plate before Sony got derpy.

What do you mean if sony got "derpy"?, is it like some mental disease a company can catch if it's not favoured by some?.

Whatever happens Microsoft must suffer!

That is all that matters.

I really don't know how to feel about this one way or the other, what would be worse for the company; him staying or going?

heybill, ignore these people and continue with your fiundation work. you are a wonderful person and example of how the wealthy should act. thx bill.

lacktheknack:

Shadow-Phoenix:

lacktheknack:

It might induce Valve to be more aggressive, or may allow Nintendo to stick their hands in the AAA market properly. Or it might allow another company to put out a wildly popular console.

PS and Xbox are not the be-all-end-all consoles.

You mean like how a lot of fans of Valve want the new Steam machine to be the end all to be all?.

The exact same could go for the supposed "new wild popular console", besides Nintendo (who have been doing their own thing for a very long time) I can't see anyone else trying to take over everything and we shouldn't have one take everything.

At the end of the day we don't want one of them to monopolise everything just because a few want it that way.

How did that relate to anything I said?

Like... at all?

I said that, if Xbox dies, it's likely that another contender would step up to the plate before Sony got derpy.

It doesn't and that is the point. That poster is wonderful at demonstrating why the gaming community cannot have a rational discussion. Too many strawman arguments and uneducated people throwing wild accusations out to actually have a conversation.

OT: This seems like a power play. However, without a visionary at the top Microsoft will continue to die by 1000 paper cuts.

Shadow-Phoenix:

lacktheknack:

How did that relate to anything I said?

Like... at all?

I said that, if Xbox dies, it's likely that another contender would step up to the plate before Sony got derpy.

What do you mean if sony got "derpy"?, is it like some mental disease a company can catch if it's not favoured by some?.

Good question-dodge!

Derpy is a context sensitive word. As most people can gather, in this case it means "stagnates and starts charging more than it should because of lack of competition".

they want "their own man" as CEO and a break with "the old guard".

this has been predicted for e-o-n-s.

getting Gates to step aside clears the way for that because atm it's basically his call.

if he does...or if they get "their man" anyway...you can expect big changes at Microsoft.

I might be mistaken, but i'm pretty sure Bill Gate already quitted the company, sure he still the biggest shareholder, but he isint calling the shot anymore right?

Alot of MSs success under gates, was back in the days when he was still copying apples os, to be fair apple was copying microsoft features also, but also anti strong arm business tactics, alot of which have been beat down by courts and law suits.

bill never played nice with others, he wanted to gut them all like slaughtered pigs.

not sure more of bill is what microsoft needs, putting someone in that is more pro consumer, open source, would be a good step, recommitting to the pc side of things more, develop direct x but hey now graphics card makers are doing an end around you there. streamlining windows, cut the bloat, make it simplier, make it more secure, we really need a pure gaming os, or a real gaming mode for windows the shuts down all those unnecessary processes, stops updates, prioritizes 3d applications, and so on, pcs are 100x more powerful than the ps4 and xbone even now on the high end side.

With steam making its own linux based gaming os, what is the point of windows if that steam os actually ends up running games better? will that game in linux support my pc mods? will the mp work properly cross os?

sure the steam os has alot of unknowns about it but it being open sourced will make it extremely customizable eventually.

How about getting back to really making the leanest meanest os out there, get back to what you built your company on before it is too late. steam, AMD, and Nvidia are all making moves to cut out microsoft and windows.

Talvrae:
I might be mistaken, but i'm pretty sure Bill Gate already quitted the company, sure he still the biggest shareholder, but he isint calling the shot anymore right?

he doesn't 9 to 5 work there, he's not part of "management", but...

he created the company from nothing, is chairman of the board of directors and holds the largest singly held amount of shares in the company...

Adam Jensen:
competition

So this is what passes for that these days? May as well not even try.

"Gates is far more focused on his philanthropy these days than the company he co-founded"

So he's become too good a person to be a business man anymore? Sounds about right. And apparently MS shareholders don't want their money going to help anyone but themselves.

Not to suggest Bill Gates isn't objectively the best person in the world who has ever lived and will live, but I doubt he's up for running the company. Philanthropy seems to be taking up most of his time as it is. It's not just a hobby he can temporarily put aside to focus on Microsoft.

cerebus23:
Alot of MSs success under gates, was back in the days when he was still copying apples os, to be fair apple was copying microsoft features also, but also anti strong arm business tactics, alot of which have been beat down by courts and law suits.

bill never played nice with others, he wanted to gut them all like slaughtered pigs.

not sure more of bill is what microsoft needs, putting someone in that is more pro consumer, open source, would be a good step, recommitting to the pc side of things more, develop direct x but hey now graphics card makers are doing an end around you there. streamlining windows, cut the bloat, make it simplier, make it more secure, we really need a pure gaming os, or a real gaming mode for windows the shuts down all those unnecessary processes, stops updates, prioritizes 3d applications, and so on, pcs are 100x more powerful than the ps4 and xbone even now on the high end side.

With steam making its own linux based gaming os, what is the point of windows if that steam os actually ends up running games better? will that game in linux support my pc mods? will the mp work properly cross os?

sure the steam os has alot of unknowns about it but it being open sourced will make it extremely customizable eventually.

How about getting back to really making the leanest meanest os out there, get back to what you built your company on before it is too late. steam, AMD, and Nvidia are all making moves to cut out microsoft and windows.

It's funny how so many people seem to view Microsoft's success or demise from a very "gamer centric" perspective. Microsoft's hardware department stands for maybe 6 percent of their revenue. And with hardware, I included Surface tablets, not only Xbox.

With other words, even if Xbox One doesn't ship one single unit, the company wouldn't even risk losing more than maybe a percentage of it's revenue. It wouldn't kill the company.

As to the SteamOS thing. Even if every single Steam-user decides to promptly leave Windows behind completely to use SteamOS (which would be weird seeing as SteamOS is not a general purpose OS so these gamers would still have to use Windows for work or school), the amount of Windows users who actually are dedicated gamers probably is so relatively small that it wouldn't cause any substantial loss of their userbase. Windows gamers is not one of their main customer segments.

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