According to a filing with the SEC, Ballmer has sold 49.3 million Microsoft shares over the last three days, bringing his total ownership to 358.9 million shares, or approximately 4.2% of the company. Essentially, he sold 12% of his shares at a price between $26 and $28.
Knowing that the media would notice such a large transaction, Ballmer posted a statement on Microsoft’s website, saying that he sold $1.3 billion in Microsoft shares for financial diversification and tax planning.
Here is Ballmer’s statement:
“Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion. 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.”
He additionally stated that he intends to sell more shares — up to 75 million — before the end of the year. That means he could potentially sell 25 million more shares of the company.
Perhaps by coincidence, Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates also sold 1 million of shares, worth approximately $27.2 million.