Microsoft Investors: Time for Bill Gates to Go

Several shareholders at the tech giant are pushing for billionaire founder to step down as chairman

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Stefan Postles / Getty Images

Major stakeholders in Microsoft are pushing for Bill Gates to resign as chairman, claimed Reuters on Tuesday.

Three investors, who collectively hold more than 5% of the software company’s stock, are allegedly lobbying on the basis that Gates — who founded the company 38 years ago — holds too much sway over the strategic direction of the business.

The billionaire, consistently the richest man in the U.S., still owns about 4.5% of the $227 billion company and is its largest individual shareholder. But before Microsoft went public in 1986, he owned 49% of the business and under a pre-set agreement, now sells about 80 million shares each year. At that rate, he would be left with no financial stake by 2018.