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Bill Gates out as Microsoft chairman? Some investors say yes

Three key investors want Bill Gates to step down as company chairman as Microsoft stands at a post-Steve Ballmer crossroads.

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In this November 2012 file photo, Microsoft Corp. founder and chairman Bill Gates listens during Microsoft's annual meeting of shareholders in Bellevue, Wash.

Ted S. Warren/AP/File

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Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft Corp are lobbying the board to press for Bill Gates to step down as chairman of the software company he co-founded 38 years ago, according to people familiar with matter.

While Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has been under pressure for years to improve the company's performance and share price, this appears to be the first time that major shareholders are taking aim at Gates, who remains one of the most respected and influential figures in technology.

A representative for Microsoft declined to comment on Tuesday.

 
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