Microsoft Investors Want Gates Out: Reorg At Risk? - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Investors Want Gates Out: Reorg At Risk?
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David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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10/3/2013 | 6:31:26 PM
re: Microsoft Investors Want Gates Out: Reorg At Risk?
People who bought MSFT stock in the first place made an investment in Bill Gates
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
10/3/2013 | 4:28:18 PM
re: Microsoft Investors Want Gates Out: Reorg At Risk?
Yeah, I don't think Gates will step down unless a) he wants to; b) a much, much bigger (and much less likely) shareholder revolt takes hold. Gates is the biggest shareholder and the co-founder of the company. Ballmer is the second biggest shareholder. Gates allegedly commands the respect of the current board. That's a lot for any activist investor to overcome.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
10/3/2013 | 1:28:47 PM
re: Microsoft Investors Want Gates Out: Reorg At Risk?
I think Gates will stay as chairman if only to create the perception that all is well in Redmond. You can't have Ballmer and Gates departing at the same time. That looks baaaad.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2013 | 8:42:49 PM
re: Microsoft Investors Want Gates Out: Reorg At Risk?
Gates's relationship with Ballmer does seem to be a factor troubling some investors; some of the strategies and cultural elements Gates installed before Ballmer took over are in the mix too.

But the Microsoft board has said outright that it will continue to support the "one Microsoft" plan, and members have suggested they're aware of the bumps and hurdles they'll face along the way. It's not clear yet if the dissenting investors want to get rid of Gates because they want to toss "one Microsoft" altogether and double down on enterprise services; or if they know "one Microsoft" is the way forward but feel Gates's influence is leading to the wrong execution strategies.
DevonE508
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DevonE508,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/2/2013 | 7:42:00 PM
re: Microsoft Investors Want Gates Out: Reorg At Risk?
Bill needs to stop protecting Ballmer - he's done it too long. I respect that he's covering for his friend and colleague but let's face it, Ballmer has never been able to handle the job and it's time to go.


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