Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

As Einhorn Exits Mets, Will He Refocus on Striking Out Microsoft’s Ballmer?

Yesterday, David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital dumped his bid to buy the New York Mets.

“I am disappointed to announce that I will not be purchasing an ownership interest in the New York Mets baseball team at this time,” said the well-known Wall Street hedge fund manager in a statement.

Why does that matter to tech? Well, because Einhorn has been an active player in the sector of late, including buying and then dumping a big chunk of stock in Yahoo earlier this year.

He currently owns slugs of Seagate, Apple, Best Buy and, in his largest holding, almost 15 million shares of Microsoft.

Now, it will be interesting to see if he’ll put his proverbial eye back on the ball of attacking the company’s CEO Steve Ballmer, as he had been doing many months ago.

While also maintaining that the stock was undervalued by investors, for example, Einhorn said in May that the software giant had “Charlie Brown management” and that Ballmer’s “continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft’s stock.”

That did not stop Greenlight from adding more Microsoft shares to its holdings, jumping to an ownership stake of 14.8 million shares as of June 30, compared to 9.1 million shares at the end of the previous quarter.

Now that he has more time on his hands post-Mets, will Einhorn renew his Ballmer criticism?

We’ll see soon enough, as well as what Microsoft’s own outlook is, at its annual Financial Analyst Meeting later this month in Anaheim.

Ballmer, as well as a panoply of other Microsoft execs, will be making presentations there.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik