Ballmer to sell 18% of his Microsoft stock

He sold $1.3 billion worth of shares in three days last week

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Ballmer to sell 18% of his Microsoft stock Microsft CEO, Steve Ballmer, is selling up to 18% of his stake in Microsoft. He says the sale is for personal reasons, not a lack of confidence in the company.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  November 7, 2010

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer is selling off a large chunk of his Microsoft stock holdings, according to a press release on Microsoft's website.

He plans to sell 75 million shares by the end of this year, approximately 18% of his total share holdings in the company, according to Reuters. He sold $1.3 billion in shares in just three days last week, at $27 per share.

The CEO has announced that he is selling to diversify his assets and assist in tax planning. He also stated that this sale, his first in seven years, does not reflect a lack of confidence in Microsoft.

"Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion," Ballmer said in a statement on Microsoft's website. "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."

Reuters said that despite recent criticism over Microsoft's lagging shares, Ballmer has shown no inclination to step down as CEO, he has been with the company since 1980.

Before his recent share sale, Ballmer held 408 million shares in Microsoft. As of Friday, Ballmer still holds about 359 million Microsoft shares, or 4.2% of the company, worth about $9.6 billion, according to Reuters, making him the second largest shareholder beside Bill Gates.

Microsoft shares slipped 1% to $26.85 on Friday on Nasdaq, but remained unchanged in after hours trade.

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