As he spoke about losses to piracy in China, rumour has it Ballmer could be losing something of his own. His job.
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There are whispers in the US calling for Microsoft to drop its chief in command, Steve Ballmer, and give ” give someone else a chance.”
That’s according to one hedge fund manager David Einhorn, from Greenlig Capital fund, who told investors his continued presence at the helm was impacting negatively on share prices. Ballmer has held the top spot for 11 years overtaking from Bill Gates in 2000.
“His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft’s stock,” Einhorn told the Ira Sohn conference in New York conference Wednesday.
The hedge fund manger owns more than 9 million shares in the software giant, is known for his scathing attacks on struggling companies and infamously unleashed his wrath at Lehman Brothers just before its collapse. Microsoft shares jumped 2 percent to $24.67 following the speech.
The Windows maker who recently announced an update to its W7 OS called Mango has seen its fortunes fade in recent years and its earnings surpassed by iOS rival Apple for the first time in history.
Ballmer also recently coughed up $8.5 billion for VoIP giant Skype, despite its relatively limited profitability to date, which provoked shock within many investors and analyst alike.
Last month, Steve Jobs’ giant Apple trounced its rival for the first time ever since 1991, announcing $24.7bn revenue with a net profit of $6bn compared to Microsoft Q3 revenue of $16.43bn.
This was on the back of huge iPad and iPhones sales, something which its Windows OS is looking to replicate, with a joint venture with European phone maker Nokia.
Its revenue for Windows 7 OS also recently fell 4 per cent, as consumers turn their backs on desktops PC’s.
1980’s star child IBM also recently managed to recover its fortunes and surpass its PC rival in terms of value, for the first time in over 15 years.
However, a Reuters reports later suggested Microsoft directors still supported their boss, who has worked at the company since 1980, citing company sources.
“Bill Gates is a ruthless capitalist. If he wanted to, he’d walk Ballmer to the door himself,” said one fund manager with Microsoft stock.
Microsoft’s head was in China this week, speaking about the losses his company was making due to piracy software operators.