Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Janet I. Tu.
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November 20, 2013 at 4:02 PM
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who said he would be retiring within 12 months, is one the company’s nine board members who were reelected to those positions at the annual shareholders’ meeting yesterday.
He was, however, reelected with the lowest percentage of “yes” votes: 90.66 percent, according to a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The other board members were reelected with percentages ranging from 91.41 percent (for John Thompson, the CEO of Virtual Instruments who is chairing Microsoft’s board committee looking for Ballmer’s successor) to 99.1 percent (for Charles Noski, former vice chairman of Bank of America).
Chairman Bill Gates was reelected with 98.13 percent of the vote.
Overall, there were 8,360,743,755 shares of common stock entitled to be voted, with 7,016,304,432 shares voted in person or by proxy, according to the SEC filing.
October 29, 2013 at 3:28 PM
[This post has been updated to include Microsoft's comments.]
Glass Lewis, a proxy advisory firm, has recommended to Microsoft shareholders that they not re-elect John Thompson to the company’s board.
Thompson, CEO of Virtual Instruments, is the lead independent director on Microsoft’s board and is leading the committee searching for Microsoft’s next CEO.
October 1, 2013 at 6:18 PM
Several of Microsoft’s top investors feel Microsoft co-founder and board chairman Bill Gates’ presence on the board is now a hindrance and are lobbying the board to push for Gates to step down as chairman, according to a Reuters report.
The report, which cites “people familiar with the matter,” says that three of Microsoft’s top 20 investors are lobbying for the ouster, believing that “Gates’ presence on the board effectively blocks the adoption of new strategies and would limit the power of a new chief executive to make substantial changes. In particular, they point to Gates’ role on the special committee searching for Ballmer’s successor. They are also worried that Gates – who spends most of his time on his philanthropic foundation – wields power out of proportion to his declining shareholding.”
July 22, 2013 at 1:45 PM
There’s been a lot of buzz in the past few days about activist shareholder ValueAct’s apparent push for a seat on Microsoft’s board.
ValueAct Holdings, which disclosed earlier this year that it had purchased some $2 billion of Microsoft stock, has been talking with some Microsoft board members and large institutional shareholders about gaining a seat on Microsoft’s board, according to a Reuters report.
But with a less than 1 percent stake in the company, does ValueAct have the power to gain such a seat?