Microsoft investors hungry for the company to recreate its business model have reportedly called for its co-founder Bill Gates to resign as chairman and leave with outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer to allow the company to have a fresh start.
Three of the top 20 investors in Seattle-based Microsoft called for Gates to resign out of fear that his role would limit a new CEO’s power to pivot the company away from dependence on the PC market and more toward the cloud and mobile industries, sources told Reuters on Tuesday. Those three investors collectively hold 5 percent of the company’s stock, while Gates is the largest individual shareholder with 4.5 percent of the company’s stock, so Gates’ removal is unlikely, Reuters added. This call for Gates’ removal highlights an intense desire to revamp Microsoft ahead of Ballmer’s plans to step down as CEO before August 2014.
Gates handed the CEO title to Ballmer in 2000 and shifted to focus on his philanthropy work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates has also been selling about 80 million Microsoft shares each year as part of a plan that would end his financial stake in the company by 2018, according to Reuters.