Hedge fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital believes Microsoft is a strong buy — but he thinks the board should fire Steve Ballmer.Speaking at the Ira Sohn Conference this afternoon, Einhorn criticised Ballmer’s “Charlie Brown” style of management and said “His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft stock.”
Other comments: Ballmer is stuck in the past, and at best a caretaker, and he is responsible for Microsoft wasting billions in R&D money.
Despite Ballmer’s presence, he thinks Microsoft is a good bargain right now, as the company has been “much stronger” than the average company in the S&P 500, but hasn’t gotten credit for some of its achievements.
At the end of the first quarter, Greenlight held more than 9 million shares of Microsoft worth nearly $230 million, making it the fund’s 8th largest holding, according to Wall Street Cheat Sheet.
Einhorn gained fame at the 2008 Sohn event by describing how he was shorting the housing market and slamming Lehman Brothers — several months before the housing market drove Lehman out of business.