MSFT Investor Push for Gates to Step Down

Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft are pushing for Bill Gates to step down from the company. After a lot of pressure on Ballmer to resign, and after his retirement announcement, this comes as a shock.

I can see why they are interested in having him step down, with this quote from the article –

They are also worried that Gates – who spends most of his time on his philanthropic foundation – wields power out of proportion to his declining shareholding.

Gates, who owned 49 percent of Microsoft before it went public in 1986, sells about 80 million Microsoft shares a year under a pre-set plan, which if continued would leave him with no financial stake in the company by 2018.

Gates has done an excellent job at the helm of Microsoft, and as a board member and as head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This is one guy I’ve gone from hating to loving throughout the years. Great guy that I hope to one day meet. But, with a declining role in the day to day operations, as well as a smaller and smaller financial stake in the company, is he the right person to have on board? More power than those that do have more of a financial stake and with more input on the operations? The ups and downs of having an investor owned corporation.

I hope this has a good outcome for Mr. Gates and the investors can come up with a solution to keep him around in some capacity.