real-time news and commentary for investors
Tuesday, Oct 1
3 top-20 Microsoft investors reportedly want Gates out; Mulally talks
- Reuters reports three of Microsoft's (MSFT) 20 biggest shareholders (combined 5%+ stake) want Bill Gates to resign as chairman, arguing he's blocking needed strategy changes and would prevent the company's next CEO from making them.
- The investors also reportedly think Gates retains power disproportionate to his stake, which is down to 4.5% and (assuming he continues selling ~80M shares/year through a 10b5-1 trading plan) is set to evaporate by 2018.
- Reuters doesn't disclose whether activist investor ValueAct (0.8% stake) is among the investors. But the news service did report last month three top-20 investors wanted Alan Mulally and Mike Lawrie on their CEO shortlist; Lawrie was once a ValueAct partner.
- Meanwhile, in a USA Today talk, Mulally downplayed a report he's now the frontrunner to replace Steve Ballmer, but didn't go as far as to formally deny it.
- Mulally: "I love serving Ford (F) and have nothing new to add to [my] plans to continue serving Ford."