Microsoft’s annual shareholders meetings are usually brisk affairs.
Typically, CEO Steve Ballmer and other high-ranking executives run through the company’s accomplishments of the past year; shareholders vote on a few — usually routine — proposals; and the few lively moments come during the brief session when shareholders get to ask the executives and Board Chairman Bill Gates questions.
It may be more of the same today as Microsoft holds its shareholder meeting at Meydenbauer Center starting at 8 a.m. (there will be a webcast of the event here) — even though this is a far from typical year.
In the past several months, Microsoft has started a huge, companywide reorganization; purchased Nokia’s handset business; replaced its controversial stack-ranking employee review system; and averted a proxy battle by agreeing to grant activist shareholder ValueAct a seat on the board starting next year. And, of course, Ballmer announced in August that he would be stepping down as CEO sometime in the next 12 months after his successor is found.
Microsoft is not expected to announce the new CEO at the shareholders’ meeting — though there will undoubtedly be questions from shareholders on how the search is going.
The few proposals up for a vote — re-election of the nine current board members, an advisory vote on executive compensation, for example — are strictly routine, with no shareholder resolutions.
Microsoft shares closed Monday at $37.20, down 64 cents. (But the price of the stock, which has seen a resurgence recently with new-CEO rumors, is far higher than it was before last year’s shareholders meeting, when it was trading at $27.08.)
I will try to tweet (@janettu) from the meeting, though connections at Meydenbauer Center can be spotty.