It's a familiar story. You work very hard to found a company, then at the height of your reign as its CEO or chairman, the board suddenly decides to fire you. We've seen this incident happen to the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. And now we're about to see Bill Gates leave the room as well.
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According to Reuters, three among the top 20 investors at Microsoft are pushing Mr. Gates to step down as the company's chairman. Why? Well, the report published by Reuters today said that the three investors are worried that the presence of Bill Gates on the board will "limit the power" of the upcoming CEO to make changes.
Reuters adds that they are also worried that Gates, who owns 4.5 percent of the $227 billion company, will wield "power out of proportion to his declining shareholding." Apparently under a pre-set plan, Bill Gates is selling around 80 million Microsoft shares per year. If this continues up to year 2018, Gates will be left without a financial stake at Microsoft.
A Microsoft spokesperson has declined to comment on the report. The said investors, meanwhile, asked to be treated under the radar as the discussions are private. Of course, before Bill Gates steps down, the board will have to approve the proposal first.