Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer has sold $1.3 billion worth of Microsoft shares. This cuts his stake by about 12% in the software giant company. He said that his first stock sale in seven years should not be looked at as a lack of confidence.
He said he will sell more shares by the end of the year so he can diversify his investments and better plan taxes. However some people are interpreting this move as a preparation for exiting the company sometime in the near future.
“Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion,” stated Ballmer. “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 was the first business manager at Microsoft when he joined in 1980. He was made the CEO 20 years later.
Ballmer said that he plans to sell 75 million total shares by the end of the year, which would drop his stake by 18%. Before the stock sale, Ballmer owned about 408 million shares and he still owns about 359 million shares, or 4.2% total ownership in the company. The 4.2% ownership is considered to be worth about $9.6 billion.