Selasa, 19 November 2013

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Bill Gates highlights tough requirements for new CEO


BELLEVUE: Chairman Bill Gates said on Tuesday he was pleased with Microsoft Corp's progress in finding a new chief executive but outlined the difficulties in picking the next leader of the world's largest software company as it seeks to reinvent itself as a mobile computing power.

Gates is part of the four-man committee that gave itself a year to find a successor to CEO Steve Ballmer after he announced his plan to retire in August.

Sources close to the process have said the search is down to a handful of candidates, but the company itself has been largely silent.

"We've been doing a lot of meetings with both internal and external candidates, and we're pleased with the progress," said Gates at Microsoft's annual shareholder meeting in Bellevue, Washington.

"We're looking at a number of candidates, and I'm not going to give a timeline today."

Ballmer said in August he planned to retire within 12 months, and the CEO search committee – headed by lead independent director and former IBM executive John Thompson – tasked itself with finding a replacement by the end of that period.

Sources close to the company expect an appointment no later than January.

Gates, who in previous years did not address the shareholders' meeting with prepared remarks, went on to describe the challenges of finding the right person to lead Microsoft.

"It's a complex role to fill – a lot of different skills, experience and capabilities that we need," he said.

"It's a complex global business the new CEO will have to lead. The person has to have a lot of comfort in leading a highly technical organisation and have an ability to work with our top technical talent to seize the opportunities."

Gates paused briefly and choked up with emotion after he thanked Ballmer for his work at the company, saying both he and Ballmer have a commitment "to make sure the next CEO is the right person, for the right time, for the company we both love."

Gates and Ballmer are the only two CEOs in Microsoft's 38-year history.

Gates, who co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975, then left the stage and sat in the front row of an audience of around 400 people, alongside other members of the board. That was a departure from previous years when he remained onstage and occasionally answered questions.

Microsoft has not shed much light on its CEO search, but sources close to the process have told Reuters the company has narrowed its shortlist of candidates to just a handful, including Ford Motor Co chief Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, as well as former Skype CEO and internal candidate Tony Bates, now responsible for Microsoft's business development.

Microsoft remains highly profitable and last month beat Wall Street's quarterly profit and revenue forecasts.

But the company has come under criticism for missing some of the largest technology shifts in the past few years from Internet search to social networking, and Apple Inc and Google Inc are now at the vanguard of a mobile computing revolution that is eroding its core PC-based business.

Microsoft's shares closed down 0.5% at US$36.74 on Nasdaq – Reuters.

Patimas, Octagon tumble as delisting imminent


KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of Patimas Computers Bhd and Octagon Consolidated Bhd plunged on Wednesday as their delisting loomed after they failed to submit a regularisation plan to Bursa Malaysia Securities.

At 11.02am, Patimas tumbled 2.5 sen to 1 sen with 71.78 million shares done.

Octagon fell 11 sen to 5.5 sen with 8.12 million units transacted.

The FBM KLCI fell 1.34 points to 1,805.82. Turnover was 713.64 million shares valued at RM468.43mil. The broader market weakened with 326 losers to 234 gainers and 325 counters unchanged.

On Tuesday, Patimas announced it had failed to submit a regularisation plan to Bursa Securities for approval on or before Oct 31, 2013. Patimas' application for an extension of time to submit the regularisation plan was rejected.

Trading in the securities of the Company will be suspended from Nov 27 and be de-listed on Nov 29 unless an appeal against the de-listing is submitted to Bursa Securities on or before Nov 26.

As for Octagon, it failed to submit a regularisation plan to Bursa Securities for approval by June 7. It was also given an extension until Oct 18 but it also failed to submit a plan. Bursa Securities had rejected its application for more time.

Trading in Octagon will be suspended from Nov 27 and de-listed on Nov 29 unless an appeal against the de-listing is submitted to Bursa Securities on or before Nov 26.

Datasonic’s winning streak hits speed bump


KUALA LUMPUR: Datasonic Bhd fell to a low of RM8.30 on Wednesday on profit taking after its share price streaked to consecutive record highs in recent weeks.

At 10.27am, it was down 29 sen to RM8.30 with 660,800 shares done.

The FBM KLCI fell 1.1 points to 1,806.06. Turnover was 551.04 million shares valued at RM315.47mil. There were 229 gainers, 256 losers and 305 counters unchanged.

Datasonic's share price had surged from RM1.46 since end-May on investors' expectations of it securing more contracts and strong earnings outlook.

RHB Research maintained its Buy call on Datasonic with a fair value of RM11.56 in view of the potential improvements in trading sentiment ahead.

It said Datasonic's share price had run up by more than 30% since it initiated coverage on the group on Nov 12.

"With the company's proposed share split set to improve trading liquidity, as well as the stock's still attractive market valuation – at a 20%-25% discount to its peers - we believe the current positive share price momentum may persist in the near term," it said.

It added Datasonic's proposed one-to-five share split exercise would be completed by Dec 27.


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