updated 12:06 am EDT, Wed October 2, 2013
Unknown if other board members will go along with plan to remove Gates
On the heels of CEO Steven Ballmer's exit, three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft are pressing the company's board of directors to force BIll Gates out of his chairman position. The investors are concerned that Gates holds a disproportionate influence over the company than his 4.5 percent stake should allow, and his role is preventing the company from implementing new strategies to help it survive a changing industry.
Gates is unloading 80 million Microsoft shares a year in a prearranged plan, giving him no stake in the company by 2018, but the unnamed investors apparently don't want to wait. Given existing trends, Gates will remain the largest single shareholder through 2016.
According to reports, the three institutions pressing for Gates' ouster own just over five percent of the company combined. Microsoft has declined comment on the reports.