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Microsoft board ignores calls for Ballmer's ouster

updated 09:55 pm EDT, Thu May 26, 2011

Board said to support executive arrangement

Microsoft's board of directors reportedly supports executive Steve Ballmer, despite calls from hedge fund manager David Einhorn for the company to find a new leader. All board members are said to have confidence in Ballmer, unnamed sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, though the company has so far declined to make any public statements regarding the matter.

Chairman and co-founder Bill Gates is viewed as Ballmer's most important supporter, potentially the only board member with the power to shake up the management. An unnamed hedge fund manager suggests Gates is a "ruthless capitalist" who would "walk Ballmer to the door himself" if it was deemed necessary.

Speaking at the Ira Sohn Investment Research Converence, Einhorn claimed that Ballmer was the "biggest overhang" holding back the company's performance and stock valuation. The comments echo other critics who have blamed the CEO for lackluster performance in Microsoft's online division, which has lost $7 billion over the course of four years in an attempt to compete with Google.

Other analysts have voiced similar concerns with Microsoft's stock performance in recent years, though some place the blame on a general reaction of the computer market to competition from new devices such as tablets.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Monde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004


    20 more years of Ballmer

    MS can have Ballmer for another 20 years as far as I'm concerned. He is the reason for Apple's success of late, providing the type of corporate vision only a used car salesman can bring to the game. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear he owned apple stock.

  1. Camelot

    Mac Elite

    Joined: May 1999


    Of course...

    "...All board members are said to have confidence in Ballmer" because if they said anything different they'd have to face his wrath and they'd be out on their ears. He's a nutjob and I'm surprised it's taken this long for any of the investment banks to stand up and say anything.

  1. tightzeit

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006


    I am curious

    and I'm not being anti-MS in this query, I just want to know if he's spearheaded any initiatives or deals, or overseen projects, costcutting, streamlining etc, anything at all that has added to the bottomline not directly associated with the Office and Windows products?

    Does anyone know? I do proclaim ignorance, it's not a 'knowing' jab on an Apple site.

    The reason I ask is that fund managers do tend to examine these things.

  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2011



    Has an enormous head.

  1. Fonejacker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Uncle Fester is doing a fantastic job

    Uncle Fester is leading Microshaft into new and innovated areas, where other companies follow, or have I got that the wrong way round? He knows how to negotiate a good deal and not over pay. His presentation skills are legendary. He is well respected inside and outside of MS. He is a cool dresser. He is knowledgable about future trends and products. His ability to recognise good products. Remember what he said about the iPhone when it came out. His colour choice for an electrical device, aka Zune ie brown, is visionary. His featured packed MS Office hasn't changed in 10 years. His ability to plug away at the PC Tablet for 10 years, with minimal sales, shows he won't give up, despite logic says you should. His fondness to spend money ie billions in pursuing worthless tasks, ie chasing Google with Bing is admirable. He is the best CEO for everyone else outside of MS. Long may Uncle Fester rule MS.

  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001


    too slow

    It would take a major disaster instead of several mini disasters for the board to ask him to go and he just might say no. Vista, Zune, Play for sure, tablets, mobile market apparently just don't add up to such a big problem. Until Apple (unlikely) or someone else seriously goes after the beige box / business market Balmer is here to stay.

  1. BigMac2

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 2000



    I'm not surprise of the Board for backing up Ballmer, after all Bill Gate still the biggest shareholder of Microsoft. Beside other board members are mostly financial manager, that make no one beside Bill having vision for future product. Ballmer is an MBA not a computer nerd, he doesn't know about software, hardware and even what consumer want.

    I agree with Monde, Ballmer is one major reason for Apple come back.

  1. tundaman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2010



    Go Baldmer!!!

  1. BlueGonzo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2010


    Please Microsoft...

    stick with monkey boy Ballmer. He is the BEST CEO for Microsoft!!!

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005



    Dodged a bullet there.

    For a second I thought common sense might return to Microsoft. Glad my lack of faith wasn't misplaced.

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