I know a few Microsoft employees who have been buzzing about the changes coming down the line. One of the biggest buzzes is regarding any plans Bill Gates has…
Mr. Gates’s role at Microsoft has been a source of wide fascination since he left his day-to-day responsibilities in 2008. But interest in it has grown in the past few years as Microsoft has stumbled, and it intensified sharply in the weeks since Steven A. Ballmer announced he would be retiring as Microsoft’s chief executive in the next year.
Some Microsoft employees say they have noticed Mr. Gates around the company’s campus in Redmond, Wash., more often since Mr. Ballmer’s announcement, leading to speculation — perhaps mixed with a dash of hope — that he might want to assume a bigger role and return the company to its past heights.
Last week, news reports surfaced that three unnamed shareholders had begun pressing the Microsoft board for Mr. Gates to leave as chairman because they believed he would be an impediment to strategy changes by the new chief executive.
Any such push is very unlikely to succeed in forcing Mr. Gates to distance himself from the company, according to several people who know Mr. Gates and the dynamics of the board. Last Thursday, the Microsoft board recommended Mr. Gates’ re-election as a director, according to a company filing with securities regulators.
Microsoft’s future should be interesting.. Regardless of whether they keep Gates around or not, or if Gates decides to return as CEO of the company..