Things have now reached a boiling point at Microsoft. According to inside reports, three big investors want Bill Gates to step down as the current Chairman of Microsoft. This goes double since Steve Ballmer is actually on his way out as the CEO of Microsoft.
Keep in mind, however, that Gates stepping down is not written in stone. Although three big investors have been very vocal about Gates stepping down, there are still 17 other top investors to think about. Some think it is unfair to ask the man who co-founded the company nearly 38 years ago to step down from his own company.
The real question people want answered is, “Why?” How come these investors are just now coming forward and asking Gates to step down? Reports from the three investors say that they are very concerned about Gates’ role at Microsoft. They feel that he is blocking the adoption of new strategies that could really help the company move forward. They also say that Gates will be able to limit the power that the new CEO has once he takes over for Ballmer.
In short, they really think that Gates is limiting the capital that Microsoft could be making. With Gates out, they feel that Microsoft could reach its full potential. They believe stock prices will climb once Gates leaves Microsoft and that the difference will be evident.
The real problem is the strategy that Gates and Ballmer have adopted. Although Microsoft nearly has a monopoly on operating systems for computers, it finds itself in a declining market. Soon they might have a monopoly over a dead sector. To put an end to this, Gates and Ballmer started to invest and buy out other companies. This includes Skype and aQuantive. Let’s not forget that some of the company’s other ventures to become “hip” have not panned out either. One just needs to look at Bing to see that.
Microsoft does not have bad ideas. It just needs to change its image. Right now, people see Microsoft products as products for businessmen. Take the iPad versus the Surface. The iPad is selling very well despite the fact that the Surface has a lower price tag, has a USB slot and a detachable physical keyboard. The iPad is really benefiting from the concept that it is “cool.”
So will Gates step down or be forced out? Only time will tell. Either way, we have not heard the end of this story.