David Einhorn, an influential hedge fund manager has called for Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer to step down, saying the world’s largest software company’s long-time leader is stuck in the past and needed to step aside to “give someone else a chance” after taking the role from co-founder Bill Gates in 2000. “His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft’s stock,” he said.
Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital hedge fund has been a recent buyer of Microsoft stock, which at under 10 times expected earnings is regarded by many as undervalued.
Greenlight currently holds about 9 million shares in Microsoft, or 0.11 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, according to Thomson Reuters data, according to Reuters. These calls for stepping down are most likely due to Microsoft’s poor stock performance, where $100,000 of Microsoft stock 10 years ago are now worth $69,000, and also due to Microsoft failing to “attack new Internet and mobile computing markets.”
On Tuesday, Microsoft was overtaken by IBM in market value for the first time in 15 years, chiefly because of its static shares. Apple roared past it last year to become the world’s most valuable tech company.
An investor who put $100,000 into Microsoft stock 10 years ago would now have about $69,000 worth.