Reuters today reported that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and retiring Chief Executive Steve Ballmer are standing for re-election to Microsoft board of directors. Even though this is not a surprise news for lot of us, the investors who are trying to reduce the influence of Gates and Ballmer in the company won’t be happy to hear this news.
Ballmer announced last August about his plan to retire within 12 months in August and Microsoft’s board is searching for a new CEO from both inside and external candidates. Reuters also reported that it is highly likely both Gates and Ballmer will be re-elected by shareholders at the annual meeting on November 19.
Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer still own a significant share of Microsoft. While Bill Gates remains the company’s largest individual shareholder, with a 4.5 percent stake, Steve Ballmer is not far behind with 4 percent. If Bill Gates continues to sell shares of Microsoft for his foundation work, Ballmer could become the single largest shareholder of Microsoft in 2015.