Is It Time For Steve Ballmer to Leave Microsoft?
When any stock has done “nothing” for so long, you have to call into question the CEO, Cramer said Thursday.
The “Mad Money” host was referring to influential hedge fund manager David Einhorn’s call to fire Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Einhorn, who made his name warning about Lehman Brothers Holdings’ financial health before its collapse, accused Ballmer of being stuck in the past. It was the sharpest attack yet by a high-profile investor against the company’s leadership.
Over the past five years, MSFT has only gained a little more than four percent, triggering street chatter that money in Microsoft was in fact "dead money."
“The board has to take a hard look and say how much of it is Ballmer, the under-performance, and how much of it is the fact that P.C.s may be going passé,” Cramer said.
In fact, Cramer said, Intel hasn’t been on fire and no one is calling for anyone to fire that company’s CEO. He also pointed out that only recently have people started criticizing Cisco CEO John Chambers.
So is Ballmer being picked on? “We all focus on Ballmer, and Ballmer may be the wrong guy,” Cramer said, “but let’s look at all the other companies where there may be the wrong guys, too.”
Another CEO on Cramer’s radar is Douglas Yearley of Toll Brothers , for an entirely different reason.
The “Mad Money” host was intrigued by what Yearley told CNBC Wednesday about the housing market being bifurcated. The luxury home builder’s CEO said that the foreclosure market is bad, but is no longer hurting the non-foreclosure market. So Cramer did some digging, and said his research confirmed that claim.
But while the luxury market may not be affected by foreclosures, Cramer said that doesn’t mean other homebuilders who have lower-end homes aren’t being affected.
CNBC.com with wires.
Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC
Questions for Cramer? email@example.com
Questions, comments, suggestions for the Mad Money website? firstname.lastname@example.org