Microsoft puts Ballmer's arch-nemesis on the board

Software giant Microsoft has announced that it is giving a seat on its board to a man who wanted to get rid of shy and retiring CEO Steve Ballmer.

According to a statement, Microsoft has offered a seat on its board to the president of ValueAct Capital Management, Mason Morfit. He is an activist fund manager that pressed for the ousting of Ballmer and said that the company’s strategy was all up the creek. He took a $2 billion stake in July and has been trying to get on to the board after poor quarterly results hit the Vole’s share price.

He owns 0.8 percent of Microsoft’s shares and his company was co-founded by finance industry veteran Jeff Ubben in 2000.

His company has a business plan for of building stakes in firms and working with management to change fundamental strategy.

It is understood to be unhappy with Ballmer’s leadership and thinks Microsoft should stay out of hardware devices. Of course, it also wants higher dividends and share buybacks to benefit shareholders.

Morfit will join Microsoft’s board after the technology company’s annual shareholder meeting, which is usually held in mid-November.

It is not known how his presence will work. Co-founder and chairman Bill Gates and CEO Ballmer, which between them hold nearly nine percent of Microsoft shares, also sit on the board. Ballmer is known to be a little friendly with the chair flinging if he does not get his way.

ValueAct might not even take the offer. As part of the agreement, ValueAct cannot launch a proxy contest, which is what it would normally do.