Bill Gates And Steve Ballmer Are Likely To Be Re-elected To Microsoft Board

Steve Ballmer Bill Gates

Reuters today reported that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and retiring Chief Executive Steve Ballmer are standing for re-election to Microsoft board of directors. Even though this is not a surprise news for lot of us, the investors who are trying to reduce the influence of Gates and Ballmer in the company won’t be happy to hear this news.

Ballmer announced last August about his plan to retire within 12 months in August and Microsoft’s board is searching for a new CEO from both inside and external candidates. Reuters also reported that it is highly likely both Gates and Ballmer will be re-elected by shareholders at the annual meeting on November 19.

Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer still own a significant share of Microsoft. While Bill Gates remains the company’s largest individual shareholder, with a 4.5 percent stake, Steve Ballmer is not far behind with 4 percent. If Bill Gates continues to sell shares of Microsoft for his foundation work, Ballmer could become the single largest shareholder of Microsoft in 2015.

Source: Reuters

  • Guest

    “investors who are trying to reduce the influence of Gates and Ballmer in the company won’t be happy to hear this news.”
    There’s an understatement. Looks like Bill and Steve are digging in. This could get ugly…

  • Yuan Taizong

    This is great news, now the one Microsoft vision could be successfully continued and the company won’t have much reason to diverge from its goal to take over every screen, this strategy has way more potential then imitating Apple and/or selling off Xbox and Bing and M.S.N. and other non-sense many investors have suggested.

    • SpicyMikey

      I agree. The vision seems sound. The implementation (and pace) is what is bad

  • donzebe

    Elect them now

  • Bugbog

    If Steve Ballmer & Bill Gates were TV characters, I’d imagine them as ‘Stringer & Avon Barksdale’ from The Wire! (Steve Ballmer Totally looks like a ‘jovial’ hitman! :) )

    That said, I totally hope they do get re-elected to the Board! There’s definitely a difference between them (as CEO’s & board members) and others of similar ilk, as in totality their combined reign [to the present] has resulted, and continues to result in Microsoft being the most profitable technology company ever!

    • An inconvenient truth

      MS is no longer the most profitable technology company ever. Hasn’t been for a while. Apple is. And Apple’s move from near bankruptcy to almost twice MS’s size occurred on Ballmer’s watch as CEO with Bill as Chairman.

      • nohone

        Here is the inconvenient truth for Apple fanboys – for years the Apple fanboys would complain whenever someone would compare Microsoft’s market value vs. Apple’s market value because they could not be compared. Apple is a hardware company while Microsoft is a software company. Of course, they also claimed that the number of software apps is not important, the stock price is not important, they are not trying to be a mass market company (they want to be exclusive and not be the company that sells to the Wal-Mart crowd), and so on, and so on.
        Now when Apple is ahead, those old arguments are forgotten, Microsoft and Apple can be compared (even though Microsoft did not start selling hardware until recently), the stock price is a way of guaging how good a company is (and I like how people still call it M$), the number of users and apps is the most -and only- important thing.
        It is nice to see Apple fanboys still will change the argument to make sure that Apple looks their best.
        Oh, and the iPhone 5 is already being heavily discounted. When it was done to WP8 devices after 4 or 5 months, then it meant the end of Microsoft. When it happens a week after the introduction of the iPhone 5C, it is giving the customer good value. I put that one in there so you don’t need to write and twist the argument.

        • An inconvenient truth

          I’m not an Apple fanboy. Far from it, in fact. Just correcting Bugbog about who the most profitable tech company is today, and who was in charge at MS during that epic competitive reversal of position.

        • SpicyMikey

          Not defending MS and all its mistakes over the last 20 years, but MS hasn’t NEEDED to reinvent itself. Necessity is the mother of invention. Now they DO need to reinvent themselves or they will be irrelevant in less than 5 years. Lets see what they can do. This is not a drill. Time to make it happen MS

          • An inconvenient truth

            I think that one might have been meant for me? If so, I agree with both your points and your conclusion.

      • Bugbog

        There is a difference between Market Cap and Profitability, don’t conflate the two!

        Yes, Apple has been profitable over the last 10yrs, and extremely profitable within the last 5 years, to the point that it’s Market Cap has overtaken that of Microsoft’s, to the degree that they have become the most Successful company ever, by Market CAP.

        Microsoft, over its lifetime has still been more Profitable than Apple has been.

        Ergo Microsoft is the most profitable technology company ever!

        • An inconvenient truth

          I didn’t. Apple is currently almost 2X as profitable as MS. Ergo, it’s “the most profitable technology company ever” using the most reasonable definition of the term. If what you meant to say was that MS had generated more total profit over its lifetime, which is essentially meaningless and of little value to a discussion of the present situation, that’s another thing entirely. It also ignores the direction of the trend going back nearly a decade now. And I like how you failed to comment on my point about this epic reversal occurring under Ballmer and Gates. Again, I’m not a Apple fanboy. Nor am I a MS apologist. This has not been a good decade for MS competitively. In many important ways they have gotten their asses kicked by Apple and Google. If you care about the company and its future, it doesn’t make sense to ignore that, pretend it didn’t happen, and forget that Ballmer and Gates were in charge while it did.

          • Bugbog

            Over it’s Lifetime.To.Date is MEANINGLESS?? Just because Apple (in the last 3+ years) makes more profit than Microsoft?!

            You don’t consider that Remarkably short-sighted?

            Trend over the last decade?

            You mean Apple selling a variety of MP3 players for 7yrs whilst Microsoft almost single-handedly laid the groundwork for Smartphones and tablets?
            Or the Last Decade in which Microsoft was crippled by DOJ over-sight that prevented them from legveraging their multiple product portfolio’s?
            The Last decade in which Microsoft entered or created Multiple Billion dollar business streams (as opposed to Apple’s one? And please, the iPod>iPhone>iPad are all the same stream.)

            If you can’t consider things in context then I don’t think there’s anything much further to discuss! :)

          • An inconvenient truth

            To any current discussion? Of course. It’s not just that they surpassed MS in profit over the past three years. First they had to go from barely surviving bankruptcy to catching up to MS. And they did it in just one decade, which is astonishing. So I’m not sure how looking at both the current situation and the easily confirmed trend over the past decade, which is that Apple has grown profit (and revenue) at much higher rate than MS, is short-sighted?

            What does MS pioneering smart phones and tablets, which I agree they did, only to lose both markets to Apple and Google, which is undeniably currently, have to do with our discussion about profit? This isn’t about who got there first or put in the most effort. It’s about financial success. Apple was arguably late to everything: music players, smartphones, and tablets. So what? They still won big time. They just did it for much less investment. Seems pretty smart to me, no? I do agree the DOJ was a challenge that Apple and others didn’t have to deal with. But how long are we going to use that as crutch to excuse every MS failure over the past decade? The DOJ didn’t screw up MS’s position in smartphones. MS did. First by not staying as focused on the space and customer UX as they should have, then by epically underestimating iPhone, and finally by taking THREE YEARS to get their act together before finally coming out with WP, which they then proceeded to hamstring with a terrible launch and ridiculous update fiasco.

            Apple created essentially one business over the last decade? Seriously? Fact: Apple has successfully reinvented its main source of revenue and profit three times over the last decade alone. MS has yet to accomplish that once despite two decades of trying.

            I’m able to consider things in context. But I’m not willing to ignore reality either.

          • Bugbog

            “Fact: Apple has successfully reinvented its main source of revenue and profit three times over the last decade alone. MS has yet to accomplish that once despite two decades of trying.”

            Respectfully, are you this ignorant, or just blinded by the current fad that Smartphone/tablet sales are the be-all and end-all of technology profitability?

            Microsoft’s Billion dollar profit divisions In.This.Last.Decade:

            – XBox
            – Windows Servers
            – Azure
            – Office 365
            – System Center (InTune)
            – Sharepoint
            – Exchange/Lync/Skype
            – Dynamics
            – Online Advertising

            Notice I’m not even including Windows, Office (Consumer/Business), Enterprise Services, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Desktop Access (CAL), etc, all Billion dollar businesses, as, although I’m certain of a couple being older than a decade (the first two definitely), others I’m not too sure when they were started up!

            This of course is excluding the plenty of other sub $1B business that are almost in reach of the $1B mark

            So PLEASE, do not give us any more of the current short-sighted mantra of them “missing the new smartphone” trend!

            Here’s an INCONTROVERTIBLE FACT for you: No One can get it right 100% of the time!

            So, yes Microsoft is not currently riding at the top of the crest of the smartphone wave, but it does have a Vision for success [in this particular field], which it is executing, whilst also working on its current Billion dollar streams, and innovating on new ones.

  • smity smiter

    When exactly was Bill Gates not in it, to be re-elected? He’s still the Chairman :-/

  • NegLewis

    The only mistake MS did was with W8 for ARM.
    It should have been free and it should support by default WP apps in those split screens W8 has.

    SB was supposed to be at MS more years.
    His stubbornness to ask for money for an “untested” OS and the fact that ALL OEM’s refused to use it was the final drop.

    The same mistake MS is making as we speak: W8 (x86) cost too much – again – an untested OS. Even $119 is too much.
    In EU W8 is like $250 (200 Euro). Too friking much. It should be like 100 Euro ($100)
    Same with WP. Even $1 it’s too much. It should be free.

    I know that nothing is “free”. Android “IS” free. Nobody can say that Android cost money.
    Plus: People buy Quad Core Android Phones with $100. Who is paying the $900? Google, OEM’s and Carriers.
    A quad core WP will cost $1000 or $300 on contract.

    • Michael-Patrick Richter

      Tired of hearing this. W8 for ARM is the right step and it is a great product. Bad, uninformed press is all. And everybody is repeating it – without questioning or own in depth experience. In fact it only has 3 features less compared to the x86 Win 8 home edition. Plus features like instant on and receiving data while turned off.
      Regarding the other “facts” – you should get them straight.
      Windows 8 upgrade is 60EUR at Mediamarkt – and you get a free upgrade to 8.1.
      If you don’t have Vista or 7, you can get a “full” OEM Win 8 for 85EUR at Mediamarkt which also gives you the free 8.1 upgrade.
      Android costs money, and the Manufacturers pay for it. Actually MS is earning more per Android phone than per Win Phone.
      Windows phones – even the high end ones are cheaper than any Comparable Android phone. What are you talking about.
      The flagship 920 was available for 450 – 500$, the cheapest Lumia 520 is available for 100-200$ – both without contract.
      Please stop complaining and read up.

      • n6600

        Honestly – I have nothing against W8 for ARM. I would even buy it as it has all I need. Except it lacks the support of Microsoft’s own technology, for example Silverlight. I have a Windows Home Server 2011 and guess what – W8 on ARM is unusable :( So why would I buy it if I can’t use it?

        • Michael-Patrick Richter

          The Strategies on Silverlight have been made publich 2 years ago.
          The key take aways are:
          If you run a public website that uses Flash or Silverlight, don’t expect it to render in tablets (other than Androids)
          If you had written it in Flex, then Adobe has the tooling to generate it in HTML5.
          If you had written it in Silverlight, you’ll get to redevelop it again. (Hooray for contractors)
          Enterprises that need to be mobile should develop Web Apps, targeting:
          IE10 (for MS)
          Chrome (for Honeycomb devices)
          Safari (for Apple devices)
          Enterprises that don’t need to target mobile could continue with SL, WinForms, WPF, etc
          In this world, simple data formats like JSON is king.
          If content providers have not changed their code yet – it’s laziness.
          Why should win8 on ARM be unusable? I have a Windows Storage server 2008 R2 and a 2012 at home. SHARE Access and management works like a charm with my surface 8 / 8.1 RT. No problem to access and manage servers in the enterprise either…

          • n6600

            Well… You do not expect me, or Microsoft to rewrite WHS web frontend, do you :)
            WHS offers streaming photos/music/video via web browser (even outside your home network). To be able to use it you have to have Silverlight. Accesing share within your network is fine. But it does not solve my streaming problem from outside.
            Not to mention that WHS was dirty cheap and still does a good job. Unfortunately it’s discontinued and replaced by 2008 server for considerably higher price tag.
            This is the point I tried to make…

      • NegLewis

        When I say that W8 and WP are untested OS’s I mean from an OEM/Carrier stand point of view.

        How can they order 100m devices when they do not know if the OS/Device will have traction?
        Apple could do it – they had no contenders.
        Google could do it – they are dumping phones ($500 phones at $100 – even less)

        MS will NOT be able to do it.
        MS it’s a big boy. They build no toys.
        People expect something else from such a giant as MS.

        Untested it is. Believe it or not. It is.
        Nobody can risk their money. Especially in these times.
        Even $1m can throw them out …

        SO MS – for a couple of years must do the SAME as Apple and Google both: Build the best device and sell it cheap.

        • Michael-Patrick Richter

          Maybe I just don’t understand you.
          I’ve got no idea what you mean by untested OS. It does not make any sense at all.
          They are both tested and proven OSs. and they are selling high end devices for a comparably low price and the best selling WP8 is the Lumia 520, which you can get for 100-200$ off contract.
          Google are dumping 500$ phones down to 100$??? lol Which one?
          When did Apple ever built the best device and sold it for cheap??
          Sorry – either there is some kind of language barrier here or you live in Dream World, far from reality.

          • Bugbog

            I just don’t understand how, or why, people keep using 50/50 hindsight as a basis for arguing their point of view. i.e.

            – Apple can charge whatever premium they want, because people know their “stuff” is quality and will be good,


            – Microsoft cannot charge for their new products because it’s unproven, so therefore it should be bargain basement priced!??

          • Guest

            Why don’t you take your Apple loving “their product is such great quality compare to MSFT” post and just leave here!

            Man I hate iSheep like you troll.

          • SpicyMikey

            Its a valid point of view. Why is he a troll? Is any opinion that questions MSFT and their actions garbage? MSFT does things right, and they do things wrong. Most of us on here are just venting over some frustration. Lighten up

    • Florin N

      You’re joking, right?