Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and chairman Bill Gates both argued against a shareholder's suggestion that it may be "time to consider breaking the company up." During a meeting with a number of shareholders, Ballmer proclaimed such a move would not be useful and might inadvertently lead to "economic dis-synergies."
The executive reaffirmed that Microsoft's top product categories include Xbox, Windows and Windows Phones, with all segments working together in a variety of ways. Ballmer did admit, however, that the company has taken a "proper, disciplined look" at the idea of splitting up the company.
"Divesting something only means creating a harder time competing for all relevant parties," Ballmer said.
Gates supported Ballmer's comments, adding that Microsoft's hiring practices and the scale of Microsoft Research has been a "real strength." The chairman cited Office's cloud-based features and the integration of gaming and communication systems as examples of how the system has worked in unity.
"I don’t think there’s a line where you’ll find net simplicity by trying to create a new company," Gates said.
Shareholders reappointed all existing members of Microsoft's board, despite disappointment by some shareholders over the stagnant stock price and dividend payouts.