A report from Reuters has claimed that despite David Einhorn's recent call for Steve Ballmer to stand down, Microsoft Corp's board has chosen to stand behind the long-standing CEO.
Questions about how long Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer would have left with the company arose after influential hedge fund manager David Einhorn called for his dismissal early this month.
Einhorn's words hold significant weight in the world of business. The hedge fund manager was among the first to foresee Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc's weakened state before the investment bank's collapse. Since his successful prediction, he has become something of a soothsayer in the world of business.
For this reason, when Einhorn publicly questioned Ballmer's leadership, many investors and analysts quickly began to mirror his sentiment. As a high-profile investor in Microsoft Einhorn's attack has been seen as doubly damning for Ballmer.
Yet, a report from Reuters has since indicated that a private source close to Microsoft's board told the newsroom on Thursday it will continue to support Ballmer.
Interestingly, as the company's co-founder Bill Gates still holds the largest 6.6 per cent share of the company's stock, many analysts have already speculated that the decision about Ballmer's future will fall on his shoulders -- meaning that just having the majority of the boards support will not guarantee Ballmer's future with the company.
A fund manager from one of Microsoft's largest shareholder's reportedly told Reuters, "Bill Gates is a ruthless capitalist. If he wanted to, he'd walk Ballmer to the door himself".
Einhorn is not the first investor in Microsoft to question Ballmer's leadership. Many have come to question how Apple, who at the time of Ballmer's promotion were comfortably behind Microsoft in both the stock market and sales, managed to gain such headway.
Aside from a two per cent gain this week -- widely attributed to the possibility of Ballmer leaving -- Microsoft's stock had been down by six per cent in the last two weeks.
Ballmer's other mishaps include the widley questioned $8.5 dollar acquisition of Skype and the ongoing disaster that is the Bing search engine. To date the online services unit that runs the search engine has recorded a $7 billion loss over the last four years.
Microsoft is yet to confirm Reuters report.