Microsoft board defends CEO Steve Ballmer

By on May 30, 2011, 11:00 AM

As a company, Microsoft is performing quite well and is as stable as always, but its stock is a whole different story. Investors are becoming increasingly annoyed that they can't make the money they used to from Microsoft shares.

Because of poor stock performance, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is being frequently criticized for being an inadequate leader of the company. Complaints recently hit a peak and Microsoft's board has declared it is backing Ballmer, according to Reuters.

Last week, David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital said it was time for Ballmer to step aside and give someone else a chance. Einhorn, an influential hedge fund manager who made a name for himself after warning about the financial health of Lehman Brothers before the investment bank's collapse, criticized Ballmer's "Charlie Brown" style of management and claimed his continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft stock.

One of Ballmer's most recent decisions is arguably one of his biggest. Following rumors that Google, Facebook, and Microsoft were all interested in the Skype, the software giant swooped in. Two weeks ago, Microsoft announced that it was acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion in cash. The deal was approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and is Microsoft's largest acquisition to date.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, who also happens to be the company's co-founder and Ballmer's predecessor as CEO, said he "was a strong proponent at the board level for the deal being done." This came as a shock to those who believed it was Ballmer who orchestrated the whole purchase, but Gates was backing the talks as well.

In short, Ballmer has the support of the Microsoft board, including Gates. Unless investors manage to convince him to step down themselves, Ballmer is not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.

User Comments: 7

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Tanstar said:

I think he's doing fine. Once everyone knows about a stock it no longer outs out as much as it did when it was unknown or a possible bad deal. You make big money in stocks by buying them before they become popular or make a big jump. Not sure how buying Skype was a bad idea either.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wouldn't be bothered about comments from an financial gambler by the way. It is more important for a company like MS, to know that it is doing the right things, moving in the right direction, continuously innovate and keep its customers satisfied. These factors ensure success and sustainability of a company, not a bald headed buffoon from a hedge fund (many of his creed actually created this financial mess the world is in, and funnily enough even after getting their dirty hands on trillions of dollars of tax payers money they continue to propagate that they are right).

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

As long as they keep making a profit, he'll be fine. Besides he's probably looking to retire in a few years.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

It's common practice in large corporations for the CEO to pad the board of directors with friends and allys. It makes them kind of "firing proof". So, if you were looking for them to say something bad about Ballmer, I wouldn't hold your breath.

mosu said:

I never liked Microsoft, so I like Ballmer.Good Job!

gobbybobby said:

lol yea he looks quite old, but does go a little crazy at some of the confrenses. (Just youtube search Steve Ballmer)

Shareholders, bah there prob rolling in cash, so what there MS stock don't make much money, BOO HOO I say to them.

Jibberish18 said:

Does anyone even give a shit about what shareholders say? All they care about is a profit. Most of the time they don't even look at the long term. Whatever cash they can get today.

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