Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer are close friends. They also happen to be two of the brightest stars of the technology world, having made their name with Microsoft. Both are contesting reelection for positions on the Microsoft board of directors.

And the latest on the matter is that both are likely to regain them.

Both are obviously two of the largest shareholders of Microsoft. Gates has 4.5 percent of the company’s stock to his name, and Ballmer has a stake that amounts to 4 percent.

Reuters is running a story that says even though Ballmer has announced that he would be retiring as the CEO of the company, he along with Gates is expected to remain a part of Redmond. Both individuals are seeking to be reelected, and the majority of shareholders, it seems, will vote in their favor.

Recently some speculation surfaced that three of the top twenty Redmond investors want Bill Gates to resign as chairman. These three investors have a combined 5 percent stake in the company.

But while Gates, the highest individual Microsoft shareholder has been selling his shares, Steve Ballmer, the outgoing CEO previously told Wall Street analysts that he had plans to remain engaged with the company even if is not part of the board in the future.

As part of a predefined plan Gates has been selling off close to 80 million shares each year, and if he continues on this path, the Microsoft co-founder should be free of ownership by 2018.

That should make Ballmer the biggest individual shareholder by then — unless something major occurs, of course. But for now, both icons are expected to get a seat at the board.

The voting will be held on November 19 at the company’s annual meeting, by the way.

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