This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Three Top Investors: Bill Gates Must Go Too

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Three of the company's top 20 investors believe it's time for Bill Gates to step down as chairman of Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report).

According to a Reuters exclusive report, three stockholders, who together control more than 5% of Microsoft stock, believe Steve Ballmer's exit from Microsoft's CEO post makes it essential that Gates leave as well. They believe the move would give the next boss a clean slate to move the company in a new direction.

Gates personally owns approximately 4.5% of the company he co-founded in the early 1980s. He is the largest individual shareholder.

Microsoft shares were declining 0.31% to $33.47 early Wednesday.

At one point, Gates owned 49% of Microsoft before the company went public in 1986. He reportedly sells approximately 80 million shares each year under a prearranged plan. By 2018, it is expected he will have relinquished all financial ties with the company.

He stepped down from the CEO position in 2000 and handed the reins over to Steve Ballmer. He announced he was leaving the post of Chief Software Office in 2008 to devote more of his time to the $38 billion Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation.

Gates still holds the post of chairman and is a key member of the special committee charged with finding candidates to be the next CEO. So far two names have emerged as possible front-runners for the job.

One top candidate is Stephen Elop, who recently ran Nokia (NOK) and who will soon re-join Microsoft when the phone manufacturer deal is finalized early next year.

Ford's (F) Alan Mulally also has been touted as a possible contender for the job but told USA Today that he "loves serving Ford and have nothing new to add to plans to continue serving Ford."

In late August, Ballmer announced he was leaving the CEO job after 13 years. He said he would stay for as much as a year to help transition to a new leadership team. In accepting the resignation, Microsoft's board said the new CEO will continue Ballmer's business strategies including stressing hardware designs like Surface tablet computers and Xbox gaming devices.

Although demand for Microsoft Windows and Office software has been declining due to pressure from Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) offerings, the company showed a net profit of $22 billion in the past fiscal year.

The three stockholders urging Gates' retirement wish to remain anonymous.

Microsoft said it has no comment on the report.

Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

To submit a news tip, send an email to tips@thestreet.com</a>.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
MSFT $44.44 0.67%
AAPL $126.60 0.94%
FB $86.91 1.34%
GOOG $521.84 0.26%
TSLA $269.15 0.33%

Markets

DOW 17,757.91 +138.40 0.79%
S&P 500 2,077.42 +14.31 0.69%
NASDAQ 5,013.1230 +26.2560 0.53%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs