Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer reduces stake by 12pc

29 Nov 2010

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reduced his stake in the world’s biggest software company by 12pc, netting him US$1.3bn. He says the move is about diversifying his investments and sorting out his taxes.

However, he claims this should not be seen as a lack of confidence in Microsoft and the company itself has moved to allay fears that Ballmer may be soon departing from the role of CEO.

30 years at Microsoft

Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 as the company’s first business manager.

“Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid 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 said in a statement.

According to an SEC filing, Ballmer sold 49 million shares in Microsoft valued at US$26 a share.

He still owns 359 million shares, or 4.2pc of the company – a stake worth US$9.6bn.

Ballmer is the second-largest shareholder in the company after founder Bill Gates, who holds 621 million shares and regularly sells shares in batches of one or two million to fund his philanthropic endeavours.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years