Until recently, Microsoft‘s founder and former CEO Bill Gates was the largest shareholder of the company. But he has been selling his stock rapidly and as a result of a recent sale, he has fallen below Steve Ballmer who is now the largest shareholder.
This was inevitable and very expected as Gates has been rapidly selling his Microsoft stock over the years. He has dished out an average of 80 million shares per year, mostly cashing the stock for his philanthropic work at Bill & Melinda Gates. A recent sale of 4.6 million shares has brought down his tally to 330.1 million shares.
In comparison, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer now owns 333 million shares, putting him at the top of the list. Gates’ sale of the stock is interesting, especially because has has long been passively connected to the company he founded and had only recently joined back as an ‘adviser’ to the new CEO, Satya Nadella.
Nadella also has a good chance of accumulating a handsome amount of Microsoft stock during his tenure as the CEO. The company typically keeps the same CEO for many long years, allowing the person in command to gross a profitable career out of it. Like Ballmer before him, Nadella stands to reap the benefits of this in the form of a solid chunk of Microsoft’s ownership over the years.
Unlike Gates, Ballmer doesn’t seem very keen on selling his Microsoft stock. He has often cited how he takes a certain pride in his ownership of the company and aims to keep it that way.
Source: Geek Wire