The founder and chairman of one of the world’s leading software companies, Microsoft, may be getting kicked to the curb.
Three of Microsoft’s twenty main investors want Gates out. The reason? The investors feel that little change can be accomplished if he remains.
While the company is still considered to be one of the largest technology companies in the world, with an influx of competition from businesses like Apple, Google and Facebook the shareholders are concerned for the company’s future.
No formal statement has been presented, yet, and there is no reason to assume that it will but with the recent departure of Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, it may also just be a matter of time.
As Ballmer left Microsoft he said in an emotional farewell, “”We will deliver the next big thing… we will change the world again.”
Yet the major shareholders are not convinced that the company will turn around with just a change of CEO.
Other concerns have surfaced regarding Gates’ stake in the business. In 1986 he owned 49% of Microsoft before it went public, today he holds a mere 4.5%. Gate’s is currently partaking in a pre-planned arrangement and every year he sells approximately 80 million shares, if this continues in 5 years the chairman will have no financial stake in the company at all.
In addition, the board members, who collectively hold over 5% of the company, feel that as long as Gates is a board member new developmental strategies will be impossible to implement.
While they unanimously feel that the chairman’s contribution to technology and software is undeniable, it has become apparent that he is more focused on his philanthropic mission than his work at Microsoft.
Microsoft’s rank as one of the most profitable technology company has not changed partially thanks to its software Microsoft Office. The company still manages to rake in over $20 billion a year. However, the trends are changing and many believe the time of the personal computer is coming to an end and the age of the tablets is dawning.
Many at the company, particularly the investors, have high hopes that their new CEO, who has yet to be selected, will be a breath of fresh air for the static establishment.
What will become of Chairman Bill Gates is yet to be announced, but many hope that his activity in Microsoft will not be jeopardized.