Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Microsoft is the Dow's worst performer today. Its shares are drifting 1.2% lower, and Microsoft's own five-day history is looking like an uninterrupted losing streak that spans more than 5%.
Today, Redmond's investors bemoan the loss of another potential superstar CEO candidate. Chip maker Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) heard the rumors that its COO Steve Mollenkopf might just be perfect for Microsoft's top office when current CEO Steve Ballmer moves out -- so Qualcomm anointed Mollenkopf as its soon-to-be CEO instead.
This move came right out of left field, as longtime Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs seemed both secure and happy in his current role. Jacobs isn't leaving the company his father founded, but will remain as executive chairman to guide Qualcomm's overall strategy. Mollenkopf steps up in March to manage Qualcomm's operations and execution with more authority than his old COO position could wield.
Mollenkopf is an engineer by training and an astute operations leader, having guided Qualcomm's chip-building business though massive acquisitions and opportunistic strategy changes. He could have been the iconoclastic change driver that Microsoft so desperately needs, battling against a Microsoft boardroom utterly dominated by the old guard.
But that option is clearly off the table now. A few Microsoft investors who were hoping for Mollenkopf to ride in and save the company are now looking for another hero -- or losing hope entirely and not holding on to their Microsoft shares at all.