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.
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