Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer dashed hopes that the days of their domination over Microsoft’s Vole Hill were over by announcing they want re-election to the company board of directors.
Some investors want to curb the dynamic duo’s control of the company so that it can boldly go where no multinational has gone before.
According to Reuters, the feeling among these shareholders is that Ballmer and Gates, both 57, need to go so that new leaders can transform the company and compete with Apple, which is doing so much better now that Tim Cook has taken over.
Ballmer is supposed to be retiring as CEO some time in the next 12 months but there is no sign that Gates will leave.
Three of Microsoft’s top 20 investors have lobbied the board to press for Gates to step down, mostly because he is getting rid of his Volish shares and is considered less important to the company.
However, it is more than likely that both Gates and Ballmer will be re-elected by shareholders at the annual meeting on 19 November.
Ballmer made it clear that he plans to remain linked to the Vole as a major investor.
Gates is still the company’s largest individual shareholder with a 4.5 percent stake, followed by Ballmer with four percent. Next spring, Ballmer will eclipse Gates as the largest individual shareholder if Gates continues to sell 20 million shares each quarter.