There had been calls by influential hedge fund manager David Einhorn for Steve to be fired from his job after he failed exploit the move to mobile and had kept the outfit’s share price static for ten years.
However the board has announced it is standing behind Ballmer. If they had their way, we suspect, they would like to stand behind him and several miles away in a sound proof bunker.
But Reuters said that Microsoft’s nine-person board, including Chairman and co-founder Bill Gates, supports Ballmer, although the company officially refuses to comment on Einhorn’s remarks.
Gates is the largest shareholder with 6.6 percent of the company’s stock and is believed to be backing Ballmer and keeping him in place.
Some shareholders think that this means that Gates knows something that Einhorn does not. Reuters found one shareholder who described Gates as a ruthless capitalist who would run Ballmer out of town if he thought the CEO was costing him cash.
Gates, who spends most of his time saving the world from the mosquito, has given no indication he is considering a change
Eric Jackson, at hedge fund Ironfire Capital, said that the board was firmly behind Steve, and the only way Steve was going to leave was if Steve wanted to leave.
This was not one of the reasons Ironfire flogged its shares in Microsoft last autumn. Jackson could not see anyone better on Microsoft’s throne than Ballmer. Ironfire flogged its shares because the company would not increase its dividends.