The history of Microsoft and its founders has been well documented in the tech history, and as Bill Gates retired, his goal to sell most of his shares has been well noted. Over the weekend, with the latest stock sale, Steve Ballmer now sits as Microsoft’s largest shareholder.
The fact that Steve Ballmer is the largest shareholder might be a surprise to some, but it has been well orchestrated for some time. Microsoft’s Bill Gates has been looking to sell off most of his shares, and donate the money to his foundation, but this latest sale transitioned Microsoft.
Ballmer Now Largest Shareholder
With Bill Gates selling off 4.6 million shares of Microsoft on April 30th, Steve Ballmer took the overall lead in the amount of shares owned of Microsoft. With Steve Ballmer having worked for Microsoft for 33 years, he did have a large stake in the company, and it shows with his latest shareholder total.
According to SEC numbers released over the weekend, Steve Ballmer owns 333.2 million shares of Microsoft, where Bill Gates owns 330.1 million shares. Both have been very vocal in wanting to sell their shares in order to fund philanthropic efforts, and each has their own foundations to lead their efforts.
Only $18.9 Billion Held
According to the latest price of Microsoft on the stock market, that puts Steve Ballmer’s shares of Microsoft at an estimated $18.9 billion, which is a massive amount. He gave a farewell speech when he left, that left many employees in tears, and showed his passion for Microsoft as he left, or was forced out, as many agree.
With Steve Ballmer being the largest shareholder, it won’t make an overall difference in the company, but it could lead to him controlling the board of the company more tightly. He has the largest shareholdings of any person, and has a lot of power even as the ex-CEO of the company. He will of course sell shares of the company on his own and via his charities, but together the two CEO’s of Microsoft still own over 660 million shares of the company.
This story shows that Steve Ballmer is still at Microsoft in some way. He is the largest shareholder and with 333.2 million shares, he still has a very loud voice.