Reuters is reporting that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is selling 75 million shares of his Microsoft holdings netting $2 Billion. By selling the stock before the end of the year Ballmer saves $100 million in capital gains taxes. Capital gains tax rates are expected to rise to 20% next year from the current 15%. After the sale Ballmer will still own over 350 million shares or 4.2% of Microsoft.
Steve Ballmer was quick to say "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."
I believe Steve Ballmer is totally committed to Microsoft and its long term success. The last time he sold stock was over seven years ago when he netted $1.6 billion. Executives of public companies have most of their net worth tied up in company stock. They are restricted from selling before and after quarterly earnings announcements, and all their sales must be publicly disclosed. Getting some of that wealth cashed out and reinvested in other areas is smart portfolio management, and good for the economy.
Ballmer Economic Stimulus Plan - He saved $100M in taxes, and has nearly $2B in new cash. That is great for the economy because he has to put it somewhere. Maybe he will invest some of it in startups. That will stimulate jobs, economic growth, and innovation. Hey Steve, give me a call. I can point you to hundreds of startups that could use a little rocket fuel.
Subscribe - To get an automatic feed of all future posts subscribe here, or to receive them via email go here and enter your email address in the box in the right column. You can also follow me on Twitter@dondodge