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It Wasn't Supposed to Be Like This for Bill Gates

Here's another interesting tweet from Fortt:

"If Gates keeps selling $MSFT stake at this rate & Ballmer doesn't start, Ballmer may be the biggest individual shareholder by 2015"

That's shocking to me. At just the time when Gates needs his founder status to brush off the arguments of activist investors and the ability to say he has "skin in the game," it looks like he can't wait to cash out his entire stake..

Steve Ballmer, looks like a guy who -- whether or not you believed in his strategic vision for the company -- was all in with his personal wealth at risk.

Gates should still be able to fend off these activists. And the activists are likely just using this as a negotiating tactic to get more change from Microsoft than they otherwise would.

But this should be a huge wake-up call to Bill Gates.

You're either in the boat to save the company you founded or you're not. If not, that's great. You're spending your billions to save the world, and that's a great thing. But if that's what you want to do mostly, you're getting in the way of change at Microsoft.

If Gates truly cares about this company, he should not sell another share and really double down here on bringing this company back. That means a much more active job in Redmond -- maybe even the CEO spot.

At the time of publication, Jackson had no positions in securities mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Stock quotes in this article: MSFT 
Eric Jackson is founder and Managing Member of Ironfire Capital and the general partner and investment manager of Ironfire Capital US Fund LP and Ironfire Capital International Fund, Ltd. In January 2007, Jackson started the world's first Internet-based campaign to increase shareholder value at Yahoo!, leading to a change in CEOs in 2007. He also spoke out in favor of Yahoo!'s accepting Microsoft's buyout offer in 2008. Global Proxy Watch named Jackson as one of its 10 "Stars" who positively influenced international corporate governance and shareowner value in 2007.

Prior to founding Ironfire Capital, Jackson was President and CEO of Jackson Leadership Systems, Inc., a leadership, strategy, and governance consulting firm. He completed his Ph.D. in the Management Department at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York, with a specialization in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance, and holds a B.A. from McGill University.

He was previously Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at VoiceGenie Technologies, a software firm now owned by Alcatel-Lucent. In 2004, Jackson founded the Young Patrons' Circle at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, which is now the second-largest social and philanthropic group of its kind in North America, raising $500,000 annually for the museum. You can follow Jackson on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ericjackson or @ericjackson.

You can contact Eric by emailing him at Dr.eric.jackson@me.com.

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