Steve Ballmer may be stepping down as CEO of Microsoft, but he's not planning to let go of the reins in Redmond completely, if a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission is any indication.
In Microsoft's 2013 proxy statement, filed with the SEC on Thursday, the company's board of directors gave its recommendations to shareholders of who should be elected to the board this time around, and the list of names included both Ballmer and current chairman Bill Gates.
That's sure to annoy some big shareholders, a few of which have reportedly been lobbying to have Gates bumped from the chairman's seat.
Among those malcontents' gripes is said to be that Gates will have too great a role in selecting Ballmer's successor, which could mean Microsoft ends up with a new chief exec who thinks and acts too much like the old one.
Now that it looks as though both Gates and Ballmer will remain on the board, however, for Microsoft's next CEO to take the company in any radical new directions seems even less likely.
Gates has chaired Microsoft's board since leaving the CEO position in January 2000, even though his primary focus has been on his charitable work via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. But he has sat on the board since way back in 1981 – only August Capital's David Marquardt, of the current crop of board members, has served as long.
Ballmer, on the other hand, earned a seat on the board when he replaced Gates as CEO in 2000. How long he plans to hang onto it is anybody's guess, but it looks like he doesn't intend to walk away anytime soon. ®