Microsoft’s board of directors has backed CEO Steve Ballmer, following calls for him to quit.
Earlier in the week influential hedge fund manager David Einhorn called for Steve Ballmer to step down from Microsoft. “Give someone else a chance” said Einhorn. “His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft’s stock,” he added. Einhorn is the president of Greenlight Capital and an infamous short seller. The hedge fund manager has previous held short positions on Lehman Brothers and Allied Capital, both went bankrupt during the “credit crunch” woes.
Despite Einhorn’s words, Microsoft’s board is standing by Steve Ballmer. Microsoft’s nine-person board, including Chairman and co-founder Bill Gates, supports Ballmer, a source close to the board told Reuters on Thursday. A number of other investors have not shared Einhorn’s call for Ballmer to be removed. Microsoft’s stock has suffered since Ballmer has been in charge but most analysts and investors feel it would be a hard task to find someone adequate to replace him.
Ballmer came under fire recently after both Apple and IBM overtook Microsoft in market value. The software giant is preparing for its next phase of Windows. Steven Sinofsky, the company’s Windows chief, will demonstrate an early technology preview of Windows 8 next week. The preview is expected to show Microsoft’s tablet user interface for the first time, one that the company hopes will be competitive against Apple and Google’s tablet offerings.