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Under Siege, Microsoft Board Has Ballmer's Back

  • Reuters, Friday, May 27, 2011 12:14 PM
Under attack from hedge fund manager David Einhorn, Steve Ballmer was graced with the full support of Microsoft's board this week. Einhorn "accused Ballmer on Wednesday evening of being stuck in the past, launching the sharpest attack yet by a high-profile investor against the company's leadership," Reuters reports. "His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft's stock," Einhorn told a conference full of fund managers this week.

In response, Microsoft's nine-person board, including chairman and co-founder Bill Gates, is supporting Ballmer, Reuters reporting, citing a single source. "Bill Gates is a ruthless capitalist," one fund manager tells Reuters. "If he wanted to, he'd walk Ballmer to the door himself." Safe as CEO or not, there's still a general perception among investors that Microsoft's stock has suffered under Ballmer, and that he's failing to compete in increasingly key areas like mobile and tablet computing. How much more patience Gates and the rest of the board is unknown.

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