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Nov 07, 2010

Ballmer explains Microsoft share sale

CEO puts out statement to reassure market

Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, has put out a statement explaining the reasons behind his decision to sell approximately $1.34 bn worth of shares in the computing company.

The sale was revealed in an SEC filing on Friday, which detailed how Ballmer sold roughly 50 mn shares in three tranches on November 3, 4 and 5.

In the statement, Ballmer says the sale was for financial diversification and to assist in tax planning before the end of the year. He also took the opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to Microsoft.

‘Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion,’ he says in the statement. ‘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.’

The statement adds that Ballmer plans to sell up to 75 mn shares in total by the end of the year, meaning there are still around 25 mn shares waiting to be offloaded.

Following the announced sale, Ballmer still holds around 359 mn shares in Microsoft, according to the company’s SEC filing.