Exclusive: Microsoft investors push for chairman Gates to step down

Comments (58)
josephmartins wrote:

Collectively the three own slightly more than Gates himself. A whole 5% stake? Take a hike should be the appropriate response to that group. Plenty of investors standing in line to take their place.

Oct 01, 2013 9:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
nose2066 wrote:

What’s so interesting is that for years Microsoft protected their software monopoly by copying other people’s software and incorporating that software as a free addition to Microsoft’s own products – like adding an internet browser to Windows for example (That famously killed off Netscape Navigator). Well, now Google has returned the favor by giving away an operating system for free (Android) in order to help sell Google’s advertising. Meanwhile, various software companies are selling office replacement applications for a nominal price – about $10 per application.

Apparently the strategy of going into devices, is to try to protect Microsoft’s monopoly in the software business (the hardware ties you to the software). So far, very few people want to buy a Microsoft brand computer and now Microsoft is competing with the hardware vendors that are its big customers.

Oct 01, 2013 9:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
tjordanchat wrote:

The guy is a crook. I worked for Novell when Gates ordered his engineers to break Netware so that it looks like an inferior product. It worked and Gates became gangster number one.

Oct 01, 2013 10:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
oldcarman wrote:

I will resist ever having to use software I pay for, that lives on somebody else’s server. This is the worst scam anyone has thought of. Downloading was bad enough… I guess the Chinese will have to figure out a way to hack their server to make the software affordable!

Oct 01, 2013 10:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JohnTheGreen wrote:

The entire industry is done. We are breaking in to a new paradigm where “Computers” cost $49.99 and software is free. If you had big plans of selling tablets for just under a grand, than you will quickly be made extinct. It is hardly an industry when no one has a good reason to upgrade… and even if they did… it wouldn’t cost anything to do so. Officially mature at this point. It’s over. We don’t need programmers either, just a few people to do maintenance here and there.

Oct 01, 2013 10:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
tjordanchat wrote:

It is about time. Bill Gates was from a different era. A more cowboy era. He will be fine.

Oct 01, 2013 10:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
tjordanchat wrote:

The picture reminds me of Bill Gates telling the courts that he can outsmart them anyday. The problem is that this is recorded history.

Oct 01, 2013 10:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
tjordanchat wrote:

Thank God for guys like Stallman and Torvalds.

Oct 01, 2013 10:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ARJTurgot2 wrote:

Is it just me, or does that picture make Gates look like Woody Allen?

Oct 01, 2013 11:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
tjordanchat wrote:

There is no indication that Microsoft’s board would heed the wishes of the three investors

But still, I am sure you know a good story when you see one.

Oct 01, 2013 11:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
brianpforbes wrote:

I struggle to understand how investors, who are not interviewed or hired by Microsoft, should have any say in the company’s strategy. It doesn’t seem the company is in great need of investors anyhow , not to mention their mere 5% ownership of stock ? Where did this investor-centric view of the universe originate ?

Oct 01, 2013 11:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
amd65 wrote:

On the one hand, BillG is a nice guy who has build this business with his blood and sweat, and these investors have a lot of nerver to suggest he leaves.

On another hand, a company such as Microsoft, one of the largest in America, deserves a top guy who is 150% committed to making the company successful. Gates is mostly committed to philanthropy right now (kudos to him), and not to running Microsoft. So he should move on, or else a new CEO will never be able to truly run the show there with The Big Founder being a chairman.

Oct 01, 2013 12:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
amd65 wrote:

On the one hand, BillG is a nice guy who has build this business with his blood and sweat, and these investors have a lot of nerver to suggest he leaves.

On another hand, a company such as Microsoft, one of the largest in America, deserves a top guy who is 150% committed to making the company successful. Gates is mostly committed to philanthropy right now (kudos to him), and not to running Microsoft. So he should move on, or else a new CEO will never be able to truly run the show there with The Big Founder being a chairman.

Oct 01, 2013 12:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
leungsite wrote:

I also hold minority shares in MS on the belief Bill Gates is a super-heavy corner stone for this company. Why is his presence appeared so much objectionable to some substantial stakeholders who somehow want symbolic leader to sidestep ? I wouldn’t wager for such change.

Oct 02, 2013 1:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
YesNoMaybeSo wrote:

It was Gates baby to begin with, they wouldn’t have a pot to pee in if it wasn’t for him. Balmy was the one to push out, it deserves must better than him…and why did it take so long to realize that.

Oct 02, 2013 1:57am EDT  --  Report as abuse
izrahim wrote:

Maybe he can do a Steve Jobs and return to Microsoft as the CEO.

Oct 02, 2013 1:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Verpoly wrote:

Hang around in the flea market for a whole day just to end up buying a broken lamp. Nobody wants another Madoff-like coming back to chair the board.

Oct 02, 2013 2:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
marusik wrote:

What a joke! The world’s richest man being asked to surrender his post?

This is what I love about Capitalism…

It’s all about shareholders sake, or stake in this case…

Oct 02, 2013 2:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
stphnsn wrote:

He should go to work for Grey Matter.

Oct 02, 2013 2:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
beancube2101 wrote:

Bulky software will no be tolerated because they locked down users’ properties, assets and data.

Oct 02, 2013 5:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
1_Stock wrote:

It may sound…. but it is about time to…..!

Oct 02, 2013 6:23am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Gmann20213 wrote:

Shows that the value, of an original creator, Bill Gates, is undervalued. But of course, the three investors could be ‘Trojan horses’, placed to confused, deceive and even create chaos during this time interval. All business is a form of war. What did Sun Zu say? All war is a form of deceit!!

Oct 02, 2013 7:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
clemency13 wrote:

Though I have disliked Windows in recent years and switched to linux system, I must agree that Bill Gates and Microsoft did indeed revolutionize the computer domain. Had it not been for Bill Gates, computers might not have been so ubiquitous as they are now!…I specifically adore Steve Jobs, but Bill Gates is a respectable pioneer too. He put in a lot of effort to build Microsoft. Its indeed a shame that people ask him to step down on support of 5% share.

Oct 02, 2013 8:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
NotRusskie wrote:

Billionaire Gates stole everything from the very beginning. I watched him on TV a few years ago not answering pointed questions how his company came up to existence. It’s widely well known now.
Notwithstanding hundreds of billions of dollars this company is done because it was based on lies and deceptions. Just recall .NET affair when they cracked Java open to create a “better” Microsoft software.
You can stick fork in it. Filet Mignon.

Oct 02, 2013 8:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Zappo15 wrote:

Sounds ridiculous but microsoft is going down. The surface is worthless and not selling its not connected to wireless phones and windows 8 is a bad operating system. The MS management team is fat and complacent. The Koreans are very active and Google is just getting going. The problem is not Gates stepping down who is going to step up? Nobody worthwhile.

Oct 02, 2013 8:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
rkhalloran wrote:

Gates did a BASIC for the original 8-bit computers back in the day. He lucked out when IBM came to him to provide the OS for the original PC, which he ended up buying from a small Seattle developer (do a wiki search on 86-DOS). The market-hoarding tactics MS employed during the 90s are well-documented. Now the market is moving to mobiles & tablets, where MS has failed spectacularly to gain traction, and dragged Nokia down with them in the process. Trying to force a small, touch-screen model onto traditional PCs with Windows 8 has gone over with a resounding thud, leading to reduced sales for the typical OEMs (it’s telling that HP is now selling an Android-based convertible tablet). MS has no major successes outside of Windows (and to the XBox fans, remember that it only started outselling PS3 & Wii this past year, and Nintendo still has more units sold than MS & Sony combined), and there looks to be little prospect of changing that anytime soon.

Ballmer needed to go, but he was acting on BillG’s mindset of protecting Windows+Office at all costs. With the migration to mobiles and tablets, and the BYOD mindset taking hold in many businesses, the MS infrastructure is beginning to be seen as more of an obstacle than an advantage, and that mindset actively harmful to the company’s long-term prospects.

Oct 02, 2013 9:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
rkhalloran wrote:

Gates did a BASIC for the original 8-bit computers back in the day. He lucked out when IBM came to him to provide the OS for the original PC, which he ended up buying from a small Seattle developer (do a wiki search on 86-DOS). The market-hoarding tactics MS employed during the 90s are well-documented. Now the market is moving to mobiles & tablets, where MS has failed spectacularly to gain traction, and dragged Nokia down with them in the process. Trying to force a small, touch-screen model onto traditional PCs with Windows 8 has gone over with a resounding thud, leading to reduced sales for the typical OEMs (it’s telling that HP is now selling an Android-based convertible tablet). MS has no major successes outside of Windows (and to the XBox fans, remember that it only started outselling PS3 & Wii this past year, and Nintendo still has more units sold than MS & Sony combined), and there looks to be little prospect of changing that anytime soon.

Ballmer needed to go, but he was acting on BillG’s mindset of protecting Windows+Office at all costs. With the migration to mobiles and tablets, and the BYOD mindset taking hold in many businesses, the MS infrastructure is beginning to be seen as more of an obstacle than an advantage, and that mindset actively harmful to the company’s long-term prospects.

Oct 02, 2013 9:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jack___Davis wrote:

They had to Photoshop his index finger into the picture.

Oct 02, 2013 9:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ChangeWhat wrote:

LoL the balls on these investors, he could by their shares for 3x there worth and throw in a trip around the world too. Idiot shareholders think they have the know how to run a company like Microsoft. I’ll say if it wasn’t for mommy and daddy helping these shareholders when they were younger financially, they wouldn’t have a pot to piss in today.

Oct 02, 2013 9:53am EDT  --  Report as abuse
LibsAreSatan wrote:

Investors should be pushing for MS to eradicate Windows 8 from the planet.

Oct 02, 2013 10:10am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JIMTFMB wrote:

What fools. Bill Gates is one of the best men to ever walk the face of the Earth.

Oct 02, 2013 10:17am EDT  --  Report as abuse

How can Microsoft suck so much?!

Why can’t these guys realize they need to stop reinventing the wheel?!
While I’m am not very familiar with the nuances of tablet/mobile apps industry/market, I DO know that windows 7 and 8 are absolute boon doggles and PC killers. I’m just amazed at how behemoths like GM, Microsoft, Ford, etc… continually screw up and seem to be in the process of committing business suicide.

Bottom line – stop reinventing the wheel, improve performance through adding functuality without altering the basic user interface that the vast majority of us finally got accustomed too over the last 20+ years.

Oct 02, 2013 10:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
tmc wrote:

These are the kind of investors that believe that you let entrepreneurs build a name brand then you buy it from them, milk it for all it’s worth until it is nothing but a dried up husk of what it was, then sell off the remaining assets and buy the next name brand you can find. It’s the American way. Welcome to the USCA.

Oct 02, 2013 10:31am EDT  --  Report as abuse
kelliann wrote:

They need to re-learn the fact that people use Microsoft products for specific things and that’s what they want them for. They don’t want another company aping Apple. As long as they keep trying to break into markets they don’t belong in, their shares will never go anywhere. They have something unique. They need to focus on it.

Oct 02, 2013 11:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
thebeaver wrote:

I’m left wondering why this is in the news?? I seriously doubt (whomever these 3 clowns are) that their suggestion would be taken seriously by anyone that matters.

Oct 02, 2013 11:53am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Sue01 wrote:

Finally…while Bill himself became a billionaire, now $$ safe from taxes in a “trust”, the stock is still in the $40′s…while Apple and Google are out in the stratophere moving to exit the solar system!!

Oct 02, 2013 12:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
donbvonb wrote:

Fire all the humanitarians to make room for more corporate collusion and implementation of rights violating tech! Capitalism is so wonderful, you guys!

Oct 02, 2013 12:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jake987 wrote:

Maybe Gates and Obama could just exchange jobs?

Oct 02, 2013 1:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
numb3r2 wrote:

This seems familiar didn’t Apple dump Jobs at one time. What happen to Apple? I think Mr. Gates has some type of handle on the technology business he arguably created. He definitely has more sources and resources than the rest of you. : )

Oct 02, 2013 1:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
chekovmerlin wrote:

He “invented” Microsoft. He made it what it was. For shame. Men’s Warehouse the same. Kick out the person who started the company and made it what it is. No sense of history, not gratitude for those who began the company. If Jobs hadn’t died, they would have got rid of him also.

Oct 02, 2013 1:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
chekovmerlin wrote:

He “invented” Microsoft. He made it what it was. For shame. Men’s Warehouse the same. Kick out the person who started the company and made it what it is. No sense of history, not gratitude for those who began the company. If Jobs hadn’t died, they would have got rid of him also.

Oct 02, 2013 1:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RPhillips111 wrote:

I would think Gates and Ballmer both would want to hang on until Obama leaves office. Like the media, it’ their “job”, to see that Obama succeeds, and the power of Microsoft has been and continues to be a very active arm of the “Obama Movement”.

But then, Gates appears to already be partnering with JeeeBBB Bush as Obama’s successor, so maybe Gates and Ballmer feel their work for Obama is basically over.

Oct 02, 2013 2:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sharktail wrote:

The devil in an angels disguise

Oct 02, 2013 2:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
richardrothey wrote:

Finally, everyone is getting to the crux of the whole problem. Microsoft needs an infusion of fresh talent with fresh ideas.

Oct 02, 2013 3:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bullfrog84 wrote:

Great. People without the brains want those with brains to get out of the way so they can make more money.

If you don’t like it don’t buy it.

Oct 02, 2013 4:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
johnriley wrote:

Bill Gates is the brain behind Microsoft. He is present as the founder, not interfering in the operations at all. He can’t be replaced. If this happens, already under-fire Microsoft will face pressure from all corners.

Oct 02, 2013 6:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ded2me wrote:

They want him out. And I want him to stop pushing poison vaccines onto everyone. And he can keep his GMO mosquitos too.

Oct 02, 2013 6:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CmdrBuzz wrote:

Gates should have stepped down 38 years ago and then we would not ever had that piece of crap known as Windows thrust upon computer users.

Oct 02, 2013 7:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CmdrBuzz wrote:

Gates should have stepped down 38 years ago and then we would not ever had that piece of crap known as Windows thrust upon computer users.

Oct 02, 2013 7:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CmdrBuzz wrote:

Bill Gates should have stepped down 38 years ago and then we would not have had that piece of crap Windows thrust upon computer users.

Oct 02, 2013 7:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jncarlos007 wrote:

I think Gates is too busy training his private Blackwater army and monopolizing education to really care about MS anymore. He just wants the title so people still call him up for his opinion.
At some point the man went Soros and nobody noticed…

Oct 02, 2013 7:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

I agree with joseph, why would a group “minorities” be against Bill ? Yes the company is kind of slacking while there is alot of challenge in the marketing but getting Bill out is not a good move! This is always in IT / Web companies, when the CEO / Founder has or is close to archiving their vision someone or people have to be against it… People who where not there when the company started!!!!

Oct 02, 2013 7:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
LynxEye wrote:

Well, Gates isn’t a saint, but he it’s Beelzebub either. He’s simply a hard-nosed dirty street fighter businessman, like a lot of people. His charity work is a façade. Bill and Malinda care about Bill and Malinda, it’s as simple as that.

Oct 02, 2013 9:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
OlMart wrote:

Wow.. this is Steve Jobs and Apple all over again.

You gotta love talentless shareholders who make such huge decisions. But it is their money.

Another Con of being a public company.

Oct 02, 2013 9:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TJPride wrote:

The Surface was actually a good idea – with one major flaw. It’s running Windows. I would totally buy a Mac OS / iOS hybrid touchscreen, but I am tired of reinstalling Windows over and over because of gaping security holes. I can not use a Windows computer for work.

Oct 02, 2013 9:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
rkhalloran wrote:

Gates needs to keep arms-length from Ballmer’s replacement, or that person will simply be seen as Just Another Sockpuppet For BillG. Gates is unloading his MS holdings over the next five years to fund his foundation; let him keep some figurehead position on the board until then but let The New Guy have the breathing room to make the necessary decisions to keep the company relevant in the current tech space. Given the problems with Win8, Surface, WinPhone and XB One, Ballmer’s successor has their work cut out for them.

Oct 03, 2013 8:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse
rkhalloran wrote:

Gates needs to keep arms-length from Ballmer’s replacement, or that person will simply be seen as Just Another Sockpuppet For BillG. Gates is unloading his MS holdings over the next five years to fund his foundation; let him keep some figurehead position on the board until then but let The New Guy have the breathing room to make the necessary decisions to keep the company relevant in the current tech space. Given the problems with Win8, Surface, WinPhone and XB One, Ballmer’s successor has their work cut out for them.

Oct 03, 2013 8:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jkolen wrote:

“I’ve thought that the company has been missing a technology visionary,”

The company has always been missing a technological visionary. Bill Gates was a shrewd business man, but never a technological visionary.

Oct 03, 2013 8:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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