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Some top investors and former employees are calling for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's resignation.   (Source: Reuters)

IBM on Tuesday past Microsoft in market cap for the first time in decades. Some perceive Microsoft as a "dying" brand.  (Source: Silicon Angle)
No more "Developers, developers, developers"? Top investors demand Ballmer step down

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has always had his critics.  His hard-nosed style of management offended some, as did his colorful personality.  But criticism of the CEO, who replaced Bill Gates in 2000 for the position, has been mounting of late as the company has struggled in certain sectors -- like smartphones and tablets -- and made questionable decisions, as well -- like purchasing video messaging service Skype at nearly twice its market valuation.

At a financial summit -- the Ira Sohn Investment Research Conference -- in New York on Wednesday, David Einhorn, an influential hedge fund star and manager of a fund at Greenlight Capital, delivered harsh words for Microsoft's boisterous chief.

He commented, "[G]ive someone else a chance.   His [Ballmer's] continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft's stock."

Mr. Einhorn has vested interest in the company's success.  He recently executed a large purchase of the company's stock.  His firm now owns 9 million shares, or about 0.11 percent of the company's total shares.

While some properties like the Xbox console and the Windows 7 operating system have been well received and sold great, investors have largely focused on the company's misses.  CNN Money last year carried a scathing editorial in which it suggested that Microsoft was "dying".

With stock worth under 10 times the company's earnings, Microsoft shares are considered undervalued.  But not everyone is purchasing due to the cloud of doubts hanging over the company.

Last year Microsoft was notably passed in market cap by a familiar old foe -- Apple, Inc. (AAPL).  While many jeered at this news, Apple has since somewhat silenced critics by passing Microsoft on quarterly profits.  On Tuesday further concerns were raised when lumbering old giant International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) passed Microsoft in market cap for the first time in decades.

After years on top of the tech industry in stock, revenue, and profits, Microsoft is finding itself fading from the race.  Does that require a major leadership shift?  Some argue that it does.

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RE: Not sure it matters...
By StanO360 on 5/26/2011 12:30:13 PM , Rating: 1
MS abused their monopoly position to make Office the defacto standard. You are either young or stupid or both.

I remember buying MS Word, because it was cheaper and it was not the "safe" choice, but I was worried that it wouldn't be WordPerfect compatible. Office is an example of disciplined business on MS's part (that don't always do that).

They brought Word and Excel into an office environment completely dominated by WordPerfect and Lotus. They made a better product at a better price and took the market over.

RE: Not sure it matters...
By Motoman on 5/26/2011 1:14:16 PM , Rating: 3
Nope. I was completing a college degree in IT at the time that Word was first coming out.

Any claim that MS didn't leverage their OS monopoly to push Office into businesses worldwide is pure morony.

Neither Word nor Excel were better than WordPerfect or Quattro Pro or Lotus 123. They were, however, aggressively pushed into the business world on the backs of Windows OS contracts, and therefore took over.

For you to assert otherwise indicates that you are either too young to have been there at the time (and are therefore lying), or stupid. Or both. Your failure is comedic in scope.

RE: Not sure it matters...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/26/2011 6:51:46 PM , Rating: 1
Remember, on Daily Tech, everything you do to improve your company or make more profits is "abusing your market position".

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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