Microsoft made both good and bad bets when Steve Ballmer was the CEO, but one of the best was when the company invested in Facebook 2006 at a then-crazy $15 billion valuation.
So one might think he’s got a good eye when it comes to spotting winners in social media. (Unlike, say, Fox, which bought MySpace right as Facebook was about to eclipse it.)
That could be good news for investors in Twitter, which has been plagued with flat user growth for the last couple of years. Ballmer revealed last October that he had taken a 4% stake in the company, and had been buying shares even before cofounder Jack Dorsey reclaimed the reins as CEO.
Ballmer explained to Business Insider three reasons why he’s bullish on the company:
- It’s a great well-established brand. “They have established a brand in a world where it’s extremely difficult to establish a brand. It’s a global brand, people recognise it, people want to let you know what their Twitter handles are, etc.”
- There are opportunities to improve the product, which gives it a lot of potential to grow.
- The cost structure could be improved, “both in terms of the cost of running the services, and the number of headcount it takes to build them and market them.”
In conclusion, he said, “They have had a bit of a tough run from a stock-price perspective, but over the longer run, I think they will continue to be a great company. I think they will improve what they’re doing, and I’m pleased to be a shareholder.”
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