Should Steve Ballmer step down as Microsoft’s CEO? While his tenure continues to see Microsoft rake in billions of dollars in profits every quarter, the company’s share price has been stagnating for some time. Now, Reuters reports that an “influential hedge fund manager” says it’s time for Ballmer to go.
Greenlight Capital President David Einhorn rose to fame after expressing concerns about Lehman Brothers before the bank filed for Chapter 11 back in 2008. He now believes Ballmer is “stuck in the past,” and he’s gone so far as to claim the CEO’s “continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft’s stock.”
Those are tough words. However, Reuters says investors have been making similar comments behind closed doors for years. The pressure on Ballmer seems to be rising… and it’s not too difficult to see why, at least from an investor’s perspective. Reuters points out that, if you bought $100,000 worth of Microsoft stock in 2001, that stock would now be worth all of $69,000. (I don’t think those numbers account for inflation, either.) Other tech giants like IBM, Apple, and Google all managed to grow their stock price over the same time period.
Ballmer has admittedly been in the CEO’s seat since January 2000, which is a pretty long time. I just don’t know if anyone has the sheer charisma to fill his shoes at this point.