Microsoft’s annual proxy filing, made to the Securities and Exchange Commission, reveals that Chairman Bill Gates and outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer are both seeking re-election to the company’s board. The move might not sit well with investors who have reportedly tried to reduce the influence both personalities wield over the company, Reuters reports. Back in August, Steve Ballmer announced that he would be giving up the top slot at Redmond within 12 months. Gates has been out of that chair for a long time, though he has remained at the board since 1981, and is also the largest individual shareholder of Microsoft, owing 4.52 percent.
Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft’s board of directors over a decade ago, when he was given the top job. Apart from BlackRock, an investment firm that holds 5.57 percent of Microsoft shares, all the other directors hold less than 1 percent. Ballmer has 3.99 percent, so he and Gates will continue to have an influence if they’re re-elected to the board on November 19th, at Microsoft’s annual shareholders meeting. Recently it was reported that top Microsoft investors have lobbied to push Gates to step down as chairman of the board, apparently they see his presence as a hurdle in the way of fundamental change at the company. Microsoft hasn’t commented if something of this nature has happened, and Gates himself has not dropped any hints that he intends to step away from the company he co-founded with Paul Allen nearly 38 years ago. As it stands, Microsoft hasn’t nominated Ballmer’s successor. Names of potential candidates have been thrown around a lot, but no one has been finalized as yet.
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