Many Microsoft investors and stock holders are concerned about the direction that Microsoft is taking and this concern was enough to get them to put pressure on Ballmer to vacate the top position. It is not a secret that Ballmer had planned to stay on for much longer and that he had plans in the works that are just not getting started (like the acquisition of Nokia’s phone division). Bill Gates was right there behind him on this one and these same investors are now seeing Gates as an obstacle to getting Microsoft back on track.
The feeling is that Gates could use his position on the board to keep Microsoft on the same course that Ballmer (and apparently Gates) wanted to move. This could have a couple of potential outcomes; one would be that Microsoft will stay mired in the move to cloud services and devices that consumers are not interested in (at this time) while another is that Gates could delay important decisions until he got his way. Gates also has a position of influence on the committee that is looking for Ballmer’s replacement (what is the point if getting in someone new if they just keep to the same course?).
If the investors have their way Gates would be removed from the company that he founded and no longer have any controlling influence in it. It would not be a bad thing if it meant getting Microsoft back on track and that is really what these investors want in the end. They do not care who is running the show as long as they keep the profits coming in. With these rumors going around we wonder if we will see retirement statements from Gates in the near future or if there will be some ugly fighting to get him out.
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