While it is hard to overestimate the role of Bill Gates in the formation and success of Microsoft Corp., at least some investors want to oust a co-founder of the company. The shareholders blame Mr. Gates for poor financial results of Microsoft as well as it failures on the market of ultra-mobile computing devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
A group of three investors who control over 5% stake in Microsoft has addressed the boards of directors and expressed concern that Mr. Gates' role as chairman blocks the implementation of new approaches and would limit the power of a new chief executive to make extensive changes, reports Reuters news-agency. In particular, they note Gates' role on the special committee searching for Steve Ballmer's successor.
In addition, the group points to the fact that Bill Gates, who currently controls about 4.5% stake of Microsoft, has much higher power than his share would give him. Moreover, as Mr. Gates continues to sell around 80 thousand shares per year under a pre-set plan, he will not own a stake in Microsoft by 2018.
While the early success of Microsoft is a direct result of Bill Gates work at the software giant, its recent failures should also be attributed to the co-founder of the company, who recommended Steve Ballmer onto the CEO role back in 2000. Microsoft’s poor ultra-mobile strategy could also be attributed to Mr. Gates. At the same time, Microsoft still needs a visionary, which Mr. Gates undoubtedly is.
"This is long overdue. Replacing the old guard with some fresh eyes can provide the oxygen needed to properly evaluate their corporate strategy," said Todd Lowenstein, a portfolio manager at HighMark Capital Management, which owns Microsoft shares.
Microsoft did not comment.
“I have thought that the company has been missing a technology visionary. Bill Gates would fit the bill,” Kim Caughey Forrest, senior analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group.
Tags: Microsoft, Windows, Windows RT, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8, Business
Comments currently: 2
Discussion started: 10/03/13 06:53:31 PM
Latest comment: 01/08/14 09:56:43 AM
Bill to fit the bill to make bills? I'm not so sure it's 1998.
10/03/13 06:53:31 PM]
Bill Gates risked a lot and was a lot lucky to succeed.
He sold to IMB a license to software (DOS) he didn't even had at the time and was lucky to be able to buy it.
DOS and Windows prior to Win2K were total trash, but he was lucky there was no OS competition in begining and all PC software developers had to do it over his OS, and that users wanting to keep using those softwares decided to accept the trash OS, instead of throwing it all away and using better OS with new softwares, that were available at some time in the past.
He was lucky to be able to use bad competitive practices, like Windows printing false error messages when being installed over Caldera DOS, and not be arrested and M$ not being punished for that.
He was lucky that market moved its value from hardware to software, which was his business, and be the owner of the only OS available for the most successiful product in human history. IBM PC and Intel CPUs were built and sold by other companies, but DOS and Windows were under full ownership of M$.
Intel needed AMD, Cyrix, Via etc to help them manufacture enough chips to feed market needs, while DOS and Windows required only a cheap floppy disk to be distributed.
All that being said, no, Bill Gates isn't a visionary. He was damn hell lucky to be in the right place in the right moment, he was lucky to have his risked actions to succeed, and had the (lack of) character to build an empire over a monopoly.
Today it's totally different. His browser has worst HTML+CSS+JS processing among browsers. His Windows isn't optimized for tablets and smartphones, and modifications he did for that made it undesired for desktops. Software devs prefere Android and Java over Windows and .Net. And if he tries to do truste actions against competitors they will sue him and force him back. He was able to avoid M$ being split as USA justice did with Standard Oil.
That's why M$ stakeholders want him OUT.
01/08/14 09:56:43 AM]
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