Some Microsoft investors might not be happy with the idea of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer continuing to guide Microsoft after retiring from the CEO role, but it seems likely that both will continue to do just that. On November 19th, company shareholders will vote on the new board of directors, and today the board has recommended that both Gates and Ballmer be re-elected to their positions there.
Gates has served on the board of directors since 1981, and is presently the company's largest individual shareholder with 4.52 percent of the company's stock. Ballmer joined the board in 2000 when he became CEO, and holds 3.99 percent. All other directors hold less than 1 percent of the company at present, though investment firm BlackRock has 5.57 percent. If they stand together, Gates and Ballmer could still wield a substantial amount of power at the company. Hopefully, Microsoft's new direction, whatever it is, will be compatible with their leadership behind the scenes.