Microsoft investors calling for Gates to retire - Report

Sources says three of top 20 investors in Microsoft Corp. are pushing the board of directors to press Bill Gates to step down as chairman.

Top Microsoft Corp. investors are pushing the board of directors to have Bill Gates step down as chairman, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters. Gates cofounded Microsoft in 1975 and is currently helping the company find a replacement for outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer.

The report claims three of the top 20 Microsoft Corp. investors, who collectively hold more than 5 percent of the company's stock, are leading the effort, though these parties were not named. Gates owns around 4.5 percent of the company and is its largest individual shareholder.

It is not clear if Microsoft's board would listen to the wishes of the three investors. A Microsoft Corp. representative declined to comment when approached by Reuters.

"The three investors are concerned that Gates' role as chairman effectively blocks the adoption of new strategies and would limit the power of a new chief executive to make substantial changes," the Reuters report states. "In particular, they point to Gates' role on the special committee searching for Ballmer's successor."

The sources also said that they are worried that Gates "wields power out of proportion to his declining shareholding." Gates spends most of his time on his philanthropic endeavors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Reuters said.

According to the report, Gates sells about 80 million shares per year as part of a pre-set plan. If continued, he would have no financial stake in Microsoft Corp. by 2018.

Ballmer announced in August that he would retire within the next year.Ford CEO Alan Mulally is reportedly a top candidate to replace him.

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Discussion

547 comments
pwncakes52
pwncakes52

I'd consider Gates to be one of the nicest people in the 1%. I mean, DEMANDING your taxes be raised because the lower classes are being shafted and he can afford the raise? That takes some brass. As much as I think he shouldn't retire, he deserves the rest. He's done a lot. 

BradBurns
BradBurns

Get outta here with your philanthropic generosity!! We're here for the fat stacks, Mr. Gates!


MegaPyroFlame
MegaPyroFlame

I'm not entirely sure how much this would change; in fact, this just sounds like the three shareholders have a grudge against the guy.  As long as Gates isn't harming the company, let him stay in as long as he wants to.  His tenure as the father of modern computing should at least afford him that.

hXcShock
hXcShock

Translates to: "You're pretty money hungry, but we're more money hungry and your decisions aren't fucking the common man enough and filling our pockets."

vadagar1
vadagar1

its like firing steve jobs R.I.P 

or albert Eisenstein (rip)... Or Dr. Hawkings 

investors been doing too much grade A meth.

noandno
noandno

"You have founded Microsoft and changed the computer forever. Now get out"

great....

Alecmrhand
Alecmrhand

Bill Gates has slowly become an out of touch weirdo. Ive read multiple stories of his "pet" projects and the strain they cause Microsoft as a company. 

First of all Gates pushing of his "common core" education standards completely turned me off to him. Its frightening "new age" bull crap that puts emphasis on the worship of government and teaches kids how to manipulate instead of learning.  Its scary stuff.

Second, we have all seen the debacle Microsoft has been recently.  The XBone rollout could not have gone worse. I have to believe Gates is not providing the leadership he once did and people highly invested in the company see the need to make a change.

Gates was already slowly divesting himself from the company, drawing it out probably just delays the move forward.

Kickable
Kickable

unsurprising no-brainer as far as business goes, technologically, maybe even contractually.  still i'd feel so weird just being an "outsider" trying to push out the founder.  a philanthropist even, me and my bleeding heart.

RighteousWoman
RighteousWoman

Give me a break. I would kindly tell those investor to go fu*k themselves. Bill will leave when he is good and ready and not before then. 

toyo75
toyo75

Why won't they name these 3 investors who want Gates to step down?

The public wishes to know who these greedy sharks are.

tightwad34
tightwad34

The only person who can fire Bill Gates is Bill Gates, right? He will go out on his own terms and has earned that right. Only thing I take from the investors is they are rich greedy dudes who only want to get richer and who obviously think they are entitled. Man am I glad I will never be like that.

jophy
jophy

it is sad you worked your whole life to build your company and new generation want you out because they don't like your vision.

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

We'll, I guess it is time for him to leave. He gave us a lot and I'm thankful, now we can unit on Google for innovation.

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

ouch. tough decision. keep your tech visionary, or wipe the slate clean and focus on the company's business strategies. they need both.

Lawrencevanrijn
Lawrencevanrijn

Oh, I forgot!

In response to this quote: "wields power out of proportion to his declining shareholding.". How about letting the one visionary who got them there reign in trust a little longer? I know, that idea is just crazy!

Lawrencevanrijn
Lawrencevanrijn

So, those almost in charge want the one person not hindered by utter greed to step down? And that is a good idea how?

magicalclick
magicalclick

Rest of MS stock holders should also do the same thing. Request these 3 board of directors to step down because someone with 10 Microsoft stocks should also be running as one of board of directors. I mean, of course the person who owns the most stock should be the chairman. Don't like it? Then, buy more stock from Bill Gates instead of being cheap.

tchanah
tchanah

A sad news about a great man in business! 

Lord_Python1049
Lord_Python1049

I love Gates. but this is not personal, this is business. Why are Gamespot articles always inflammatory?

buccomatic
buccomatic

gates, ballmer and kinect gone forever = win for everyone.

D1N02982
D1N02982

Article title should be changed to Assholes want to kick Bill Gates out of his own company

JGD85
JGD85

Even one of the richest dudes in the world got problems, so next time your granny tells you to clean your room before playing Halo you better listen.

Tekarukite
Tekarukite

Some things just can't be ran by a committee. You need a strong leader, a visionary, someone that might ruffle some feathers but gets stuff done. members of a committee voting Gates out? sounds like a perfect example of what's wrong with MS right now.

Vodoo
Vodoo

I can't stand when somebody starts up a company, it becomes hella successful, then the board wants to throw out the guy that started everything. If it wasn't for Gates, none of those over privileged bastards would have these 6 & 7 figure jobs.

Tristan2668
Tristan2668

Greedy bastards. "lets kick out the guy who started this whole thing"

blind59
blind59

Regardless of what you think the guy has donated millions of dollars to charities and saved just as many lives

G1ingy
G1ingy

@vadagar1 Jobs, Hawkings, cool. Einstein? FUCK HIM............or was it Edison? I forgot which I was supposed to hate. Or both?

frylock1987
frylock1987

@vadagar1 

Except Steve Jobs was an asshole who pretty much said "Fuck helping people" and completely cut all of  philanthropic programs because...ya know....gotta make as much money as possible re-re-releasing the same phones and tablets for 500$ and up.

frylock1987
frylock1987

@Alecmrhand 

Gates hasn't had anything to do with their gaming division in almost 10 years.....He actually stepped down a long time ago and just collects money from the company he created.

RighteousWoman
RighteousWoman

@Kickable And how exactly is it a no brainer as far as business, technologically and contractually? 

RighteousWoman
RighteousWoman

@tightwad34 Just look at what happened to Steve Jobs when he was fired at Apple. Bill isnt the only one that can fire Bill but you need a LOT more than just 3 investors. 

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

Count, not unit.

uncle5555
uncle5555

@LawrencevanrijnOh so you were referring to the late Gary Kildall of Digital Research then, how polite of you to remind all of us where DOS came from and where Gates stole most of his ideas from. 

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@buccomatic Ballmer already gone, Gates may follow, may not.  But kinect is unfortunately here to stay, unless a greater majority of people boycott the PISS out of xbox done.  I don't see this happening as people are apparently going GAHGAH for the now revamped xbox done?  I mean I don't know if that number is bullshit or not but Micro$hits is completely proud of that accomplishment despite it's horrible problem of potential spyware.  As for gates, I have no opinion at all.  I've heard both sides of the coin and frankly I don't give enough of a damn to care about Gates.

sireltonjohn
sireltonjohn

@Tekarukite"A camel is a horse designed by a committee"

- I forget the source

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@Tekarukite Theres plenty wrong with Micro$hits, but this committee doesn't sound like it has MS's best interests in mind...

twisted_outlaw
twisted_outlaw

@Vodoo Yes, they probably would. They are investors. They had to have money to get invested to begin with.

gamer6130
gamer6130

@blind59 That's exactly why the higher ups want to get rid of him , they cant rule the world with a person like him on their shoulders.

Kickable
Kickable

@RighteousWoman @Kickable because like many other businesses they want someone more involved with the day to day development of the company, tech advancement and may even be able to show the board that the investors' higher stake should be considered over Gates increasingly lower stake.  though I have no clue what's in his contract, it might not be that simple. 

Lawrencevanrijn
Lawrencevanrijn

@uncle5555 @LawrencevanrijnUnfortunately, that was CP/M and PC/DOS. That was IBM in the end. In addition MS-DOS was a look alike due to Tim Paterson. It was compatible (to some degree) but differed as it was needed for the 8086 architecture, so in my mind, your statement falls short. There are issues between IBM and Kildall, which is fair enough. In the end a hard business game was played and there are issues on the advice by DRI attorney Gerry Davis which is (regarding whether it was the right thing to do) in part the reason Kildall missed out on a fortune. By the way, Kildall was really good (hs CP/M is evidence), But Paterson was utterly brilliant! This I know as I dealt with Falcon once in 1983/1984.


xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@twisted_outlaw @Vodoo The problem is, it's irrelevant how rich they are investor or not.  It should be a damn crime to chase someone out of his own company even if he's selling off his shares on a yearly basis.  Although I really don't understand that part of it...  Gates is rich enough but I don't really care enough to want to care :P.

Elann2008
Elann2008

@xeoneex66

The chances of finding the financial reports of his charity work is MUCH higher than finding out if he does it for taxes.  Do you even know what a philanthropist is? Thought so.