A top hedge fund manager has called on Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer to step down.
David Einhorn, President of Greenlight Capital, blames Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for the company’s stock price. Speaking candidly during the annual Ira Sohn Investment Research Conference in New York on Wednesday, Einhorn said it was time for Ballmer to step aside and “give someone else a chance,” after being in charge for over 10 years. “His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft’s stock,” he added.
Microsoft shares rose by 0.87% in after-hours trading on Wednesday following Einhorn’s remarks. Einhorn’s hedge fund owns around 9 million shares in Microsoft, 0.11% of the company’s outstanding shares reports Reuters.
Speculation that Ballmer would step down spiked in November after he sold 49.3 million shares, at a price of between $26 and $28 each. The Microsoft chief still owns around 359 million Microsoft shares, or 4.2% of the company, worth $9.6 billion in total. Steve Ballmer, one of the richest people in the world, took over as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft in January 2000. The detroit born Harvard student joined Microsoft in June, 1980. Ballmer was Microsoft’s 30th employee and was initially offered a salary of $50,000. Ballmer is the 33rd richest person in the world according Forbes, with an estimated wealth of $14.5 billion.