Feeds

Microsoft cedes board seat to activist investor

Ballmer bowing out as ValueAct storms in

The essential guide to IT transformation

Just a week after Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer announced plans for his retirement Redmond has offered activist shareholder ValueAct Capital a seat on the Microsoft board.

Redmond announced the "cooperation agreement" in the late hours of Friday afternoon in San Francisco before the Labor Day three day weekend, which is an ideal time to bury news.

The agreement means ValueAct Capital – one of Microsoft's 15 largest shareholders with 0.8 percent of common stock – will "have the option" of plonking its president Mason Morfit onto Microsoft's board of directors, after the 2013 annual shareholders meeting.

Until the board meeting, the agreement "provides for regular meetings between Mason Morfit, president of ValueAct Capital, and selected Microsoft directors and management to discuss a range of significant business issues," Microsoft said.

ValueAct Capital gobbled $2bn of Microsoft stock in April, and at the time the company's founder, Jeffrey Ubben, said "Microsoft could be the largest cloud company in the world," but bemoaned some of its consumer missteps.

By July, ValueAct was pushing for a seat on the Microsoft board, and also allegedly succession planning for a post-Ballmer world, Reuters reported. At the end of that month, Microsoft announced revenue figures for its Surface consumer slabs that were so poor El Reg termed them "shockingly hideous".

Now, Steve Ballmer is on the way out, and ValueAct Capital has the offer of a seat of the board.

"Our board and management team are committed to enhancing growth and value for Microsoft shareholders, and we look forward to ValueAct Capital's input," Microsoft's departing chief Steve Ballmer, said in the statement. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.