Tomahawk, WI 10/08/2013 (BasicsMedia) – Rarely has Bill Gates had to contend with as much opposition to his leadership at the company he helped found, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) like he is doing right now. This comes just when his co-founder Steve Ballmer has resigned from his position as the CEO of MSFT. Now a number of shareholders have placed their demands where they want Gates to follow Ballmer out of the company. This is quite interesting considering that a few weeks ago some shareholders were even contemplating requesting Gates to assume leadership once more.

 One of the top reasons which these top 20 shareholders have given for demanding Gates’ resignation from MSFT is that they don’t believe the allocation of capital has been done well, or to the standards they would expect. Other shareholders hold a different view. The danger is that in trying to alienate Bill Gates from the chairmanship position which he currently holds at MSFT, they may open the company up to some unnecessary risks. Those who want him out believe that his departure and that of Ballmer’s will see the stock rise to a high of $40.

It seems that these shareholders believe that Gates continued presence as the chairman of MSFT may see him appointing someone exactly like Steve Ballmer to become the new CEO. They believe that the company needs a complete departure from the past in order to move forward with new ideas which will benefit the company. As yet, there isn’t an idea as to who will be replacing Steve Ballmer. There have only been rumors but nothing has been confirmed yet. But can the company handle both Gates and Ballmer’s departure at the same time?

 When top management in a company changes, one of the requirements is for a few top managers to be left to run the show for sometime as the new office learns everything they need to. This could be quite challenging to a company of MSFT’s stature should both Gates and Ballmer leave this year. Where will the much needed continuity come from? While it may be true that the company could benefit a great deal from the new office or CEO and chairman, these changes have to be done with caution first lest they come back to haunt the company in future.

 The other reason why shareholders are not happy with Gates continued presence at MSFT is that he still enjoys veto power. Therefore, he may choose to use this veto power to determine who will take over from Ballmer. The new CEO is more likely to be a person Gates is also in agreement with or prefers. However, the shareholders feel that if Gates is no longer in the equation, this would give the company the chance of moving into a new direction which the two may be unwilling to since they have a close attachment to MSFT, which they both founded.

 It is still early days to say whether this move will bear fruit. However, the fact that these shareholders control up to 5% of outstanding shares is as good a reason as any to believe that they will be relentless in their demands fro quite some time.

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