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Gates Drops Below Ballmer in MSFT Ownership

In last month's issue of Redmond Channel Partner magazine, we looked at the interesting times ahead for the Microsoft Board of Directors.

The upshot was that while Bill Gates kept a firm grip on control of the company for decades, his relinquishment of the chairman's role and the addition of some strong personalities to the board could lead to a rocky future.

One of the data points was Gates' diminishing ownership in the company as he sells off shares to fund his charitable efforts.

It turns out that this month marks a major milestone in Microsoft history. As of an SEC filing on May 2, Gates has sold off so many shares that he is no longer Microsoft's largest individual shareholder. That title now goes to former CEO Steve Ballmer.

According to Todd Bishop at Geekwire, who first wrote about the SEC filing, Gates' sale of 4.6 million shares on April 30 brought him to 330.1 million shares, while Ballmer holds more than 333 million.

At his peak of percentage control, Gates arranged a 64-36 split of the company with co-founder Paul Allen. When Microsoft went public in 1986, Gates owned 49 percent of the company. Gates is on a course to have no financial stake in Microsoft by 2018.

Previous RCP coverage here and here.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 05, 2014 at 11:51 AM


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