Ballmer to Sell 75 Million Shares of Microsoft

Posted by at 5:36 pm on November 6, 2010

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has sold about 12 percent of his stake in the company, recent SEC filings revealed, prompting a statement from Microsoft that the executive plans to part with about 75 million shares total, or approximately 18 percent of his 408 million estimated shares, by year’s end for “diversification and tax planning” reasons.

Ballmer sold 49.3 million shares in the last three days at an average selling price of $27 per share, for a net gain of $1.34 billion. If he sells the full 75 million shares, he will gain a total of around $2 billion. In the end,  he will  still own around 325 million shares, or about four percent of the company.

Perhaps to prevent speculation that he may be preparing to retire or leave the company, Balmer added in the statement that “Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion. I am excited about our new products and the potential for our technology to change people’s lives, and I remain fully committed to Microsoft and its success.”

Ballmer remains the second largest shareholder in Microsoft behind current Chairman Bill Gates, who owns around 620 million shares or about 7.2 percent of the company.

Disclosure

The author currently owns Microsoft stock, and was a past employee of the company.

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