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Ballmer sells Microsoft shares

Ballmer sells Microsoft shares

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shocked other shareholders with the news of a major stock sale.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has revealed that he is selling a large chunk of his stock in Microsoft, leading some to worry that he has lost faith in the company he leads.

Ballmer, one of the co-founders of the company which has made him an extremely wealthy man, holds around 408 million shares in Microsoft but plans to rid himself of around 75 million of these - a drop in holdings of over 18 percent.

In a statement designed to allay the fears of other shareholders, who may think that the company's chief executive officer knows something about Microsoft's future viability that they do not, Ballmer claimed that the sales did not represent a loss of confidence in the company.

'Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion,' Ballmer explained in a public statement, clarifying that '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.'

Instead, Ballmer claims that his sales - the first in seven years - represent an attempt to 'gain financial diversification' and to 'assist in tax planning' before the calendar year ends

The sale will leave many stockholders jumpy, however - and Microsoft's recent high-profile launches of its Windows Phone 7 platform and Kinect controller-free sensor system will have to turn a brisk profit if confidence is to be restored.

Are you shocked to see Ballmer bailing a bunch of his shares, or is the the sale nothing for other shareholders to worry about? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

40 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
The_Beast 8th November 2010, 17:41 Quote
Do you think that M$ will ever go out of business?



I don't see that happening in my lifetime, so this news doesn't really sway me into thinking that M$ is going under
MaverickWill 8th November 2010, 17:43 Quote
Hi, I'm a shareholder, and jumping out the window was my idea.
mecblade 8th November 2010, 17:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickWill
Hi, I'm a shareholder, and jumping out the window was my idea.

i have seen some more inapproapriate parodys than that.

namely the 'my name is osama binladen, and 9/11 was my idea' one
Krikkit 8th November 2010, 17:53 Quote
How rich is the guy? Is he selling shares to tuck away into a trust fund or to reinvest in something riskier? It's all down to his reasoning, I doubt it's because he's worried about MS going down the toilet. :p
DarkLord7854 8th November 2010, 17:56 Quote
Wish I had 75 million shares to sell.. :p
sixfootsideburns 8th November 2010, 18:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
Wish I had 75 million shares to sell.. :p

yeah 2.018 billion US wouldn't be so bad...
supermonkey 8th November 2010, 18:20 Quote
He's holding on to 82% of his shares? He must have faith in the company's up-coming products.

For anyone wondering if this is some kind of omen for the future of Microsoft, I'm of the opinion that speculating about the financial goings-on of mega corporations is usually a fool's errand.
south side sammy 8th November 2010, 18:45 Quote
I'd sell my stock too. If you can gain more off investing in gold bullion than any other thing, including oil at the moment, what's the sense of holding on to it ?
pendragon 8th November 2010, 19:01 Quote
this feels like a non-story to me .. he sold 18% of his shares.. big deal
thom804 8th November 2010, 19:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mecblade
[

namely the 'my name is osama binladen, and 9/11 was my idea' one

My name is Kate McCann, and leaving windows open was my idea.

Too soon?
Niftyrat 8th November 2010, 19:07 Quote
Diversification is financially prudent if a little bit strange given he knows the future potential of Microsoft.

Could be he just needs some cash for Christmas presents and the like
Fizzban 8th November 2010, 19:17 Quote
He probably wants to invest a little of his fortune elsewhere. I don't really see this as news worthy to anyone, other than the other shareholders.
mecblade 8th November 2010, 20:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thom804
Quote:
Originally Posted by mecblade
[

namely the 'my name is osama binladen, and 9/11 was my idea' one

My name is Kate McCann, and leaving windows open was my idea.

Too soon?

my name is george bush, and declaring war on the middle east and muslims was my idea

(that was the second worst one i heard, none of these were made by me, im not a rascist noob)
cgthomas 8th November 2010, 21:10 Quote
He's manipulating share holders. Bill Gates done that before, just before the release of a major product - the aim is to make more money
Casefan 8th November 2010, 22:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mecblade
Quote:
Originally Posted by thom804
Quote:
Originally Posted by mecblade
[

namely the 'my name is osama binladen, and 9/11 was my idea' one

My name is Kate McCann, and leaving windows open was my idea.

Too soon?

my name is george bush, and declaring war on the middle east and muslims was my idea

(that was the second worst one i heard, none of these were made by me, im not a rascist noob)

I'm Joseph Fritzel, and no windows was my idea.
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 8th November 2010, 22:14 Quote
Steve Balmer is officially under CEO suicide watch. CEO's start selling stocks in small chunks in preparation to RESIGN from a company cause surely the CEO of Microsoft doesn't need any extra Holiday money for gifts, not with all those Zunes lying around the office.

Hi I'm Steve Balmer and Microsoft's stock dipping below $20 was my idea (but after I sold all mine for $27 a piece)
Ayrto 8th November 2010, 22:22 Quote
What's going on in that picture, is he playing Kinectimals for the first time? That at least would kinda explain the sell off.
Snips 8th November 2010, 22:37 Quote
What with the resounding success of Windows 7, the relaunch of the XBox360 and soon to be released Kinect, the positive release of Windows Phone 7 and successful launch of Zune here in the Europe. The kick Google into touch launch of Bing and the ever reliable new release of Office 2010.

Yep, what an idiot for keeping hold of the 82% of shares he still owns!
Slizza 8th November 2010, 22:55 Quote
I'll give him all my savings for those shares :)
GravitySmacked 8th November 2010, 23:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickWill
Hi, I'm a shareholder, and jumping out the window was my idea.

Made me chuckle!
Sloth 8th November 2010, 23:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sixfootsideburns
yeah 2.018 billion US wouldn't be so bad...
This is why I don't get why people make such a fuss about it. Only 18% of his stock and he still makes billions.

Pull out a couple billion (enough to remain happily wealthy even if everything else fails), invest in something solid and relatively safe like gold, leave the majority in your riskier yet potentially more lucrative stocks. Seems like a fair plan to me.
HourBeforeDawn 9th November 2010, 00:58 Quote
well he is getting on in years maybe he wants to just go nuts with some insane spending money...
Woodspoon 9th November 2010, 01:56 Quote
It's probably just to pay his yearly tax bill
s3v3n 9th November 2010, 04:27 Quote
Or he wants to sell his stocks before the second market crash sometime in 2011.
Cthippo 9th November 2010, 06:46 Quote
Maybe he's investing in a money making scheme with a Nigerian businessman who needs his help :D
MajestiX 9th November 2010, 08:47 Quote
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has revealed that he is selling a large chunk of his stock in Microsoft, leading some to worry that he has lost faith in the _US economy_.

fixt
perplekks45 9th November 2010, 08:55 Quote
He sold some shares, so what? If he sold 50+ per cent of his shares AND stepped down I'd be worried about MS. This way he's just trying to shift some money around to evade taxes. We all do that... on a smaller scale, admittedly.
kylew 9th November 2010, 09:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mecblade
my name is george bush, and declaring war on the middle east and muslims was my idea

(that was the second worst one i heard, none of these were made by me, im not a rascist noob)

Bad taste maybe, but I don't understand how this is racist?
Cafuddled 9th November 2010, 10:16 Quote
Maybe he wanted to buy a really big boat?
rickysio 9th November 2010, 10:18 Quote
Can you kinect the dots?
Snips 9th November 2010, 11:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
Can you kinect the dots?

Dewey did on Malcolm in the Middle!
Scootiep 9th November 2010, 14:38 Quote
People, people, people, settle down. "assist in tax planning" <--- That right there is all you need to know. The Bush era tax cuts on capital gains expire this year and currently it doesn't look like they will be reinstated. Ballmer is simply making a financial move so that he can cover the taxes he will incur on the rest of his shares should the tax cuts not be reinstated. Any speculation on him manipulating Gates or losing faith in his company are ludicrous at best.
rickysio 9th November 2010, 17:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scootiep
People, people, people, settle down. "assist in tax planning" <--- That right there is all you need to know. The Bush era tax cuts on capital gains expire this year and currently it doesn't look like they will be reinstated. Ballmer is simply making a financial move so that he can cover the taxes he will incur on the rest of his shares should the tax cuts not be reinstated. Any speculation on him manipulating Gates or losing faith in his company are ludicrous at best.

Not impossible, though.
new_world_order 9th November 2010, 17:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
Do you think that M$ will ever go out of business?

Microsoft should be an inspiration to us all. They are proof that you can still sell a sucky product and make lots and lots of money, all you need is to leverage unfair business practices against the rest of the community.

The only way they could make something that didn't suck was if they decided to enter the vacuum cleaner business.
Turbotab 9th November 2010, 18:06 Quote
Don't worry, maybe he just needs the money to buy a toupee!
mastorofpuppetz 9th November 2010, 18:24 Quote
Amazing how such a bug, wealthy company can be so bad, and do so many stupid things and have so many failures.
new_world_order 9th November 2010, 19:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastorofpuppetz
Amazing how such a big, wealthy company can be so bad, and do so many stupid things and have so many failures.

I couldn't agree more. It would be like if 95% of the cars on the road were the Ford Pinto!
nicae 11th November 2010, 18:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casefan
I'm Joseph Fritzel, and no windows was my idea.

Hi, I have an air conditioner. Just like my PC, it works great until I open windows.
nemo 11th November 2010, 22:00 Quote
The 'managing my finances for tax' reason sounds phony.

Apparently Balmer is living on borrowed time as the Microsoft board are losing patience with his screw-ups, the latest and greatest being Windows Phone 7.

BlackRock, one of the biggest holders of Microsoft shares, has cut its stake in the software company below 5 percent too.

It also makes me laugh about the low take-up rate of the old Microsoft cash-cow, MS Office. The business take-up is not great, with "the most common concern IT professionals had about deployment was [re-]training employees to use the [EASY TO USE] Ribbon interface, first introduced in Office 2007—a concern identified by fully 45 percent of respondents. Nearly three years after its introduction, it's unclear the extent to which the Ribbon actually baffles users, but there's no doubt that the fact that it might certainly worries thinly stretched IT departments. "

Combine those two with the woeful tales on Zune and the shoddy Xbox, and the spectacular success of Apple in mp3 players/tablet devices/phones/games, and you must have a very worried executive. If I was Balmer, I'd sell high too.
thehippoz 11th November 2010, 23:09 Quote
apple sales may be a part of it.. yeah actually office 2007 interface was pretty different.. you had a lot of people who couldn't even get how to save a document

in 2010 it's a little bit better.. office 2007 was a fail imo- even making tables was so different from the previous versions.. for what
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