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Ballmer Dumps Portion Of Microsoft Shares

November 8, 2010

Microsoft’s chief executive officer has sold 49.3 million shares of company stock worth a staggering 1.3 billion dollars, according to a filing by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed the action late Friday in a statement saying he is “selling some of his holdings of Microsoft stock to gain financial diversification and to assist in tax planning before the end of the calendar year”

He stressed that the move should not worry investors and he said he remained “fully committed” to the software giant.

Before the latest sale, Microsoft said Ballmer held about 408 million shares in the company. Ballmer plans to sell up to 75 million shares by the end of the year, according to the company.

According to the SEC filing, Ballmer sold shares in three separate deals between Wednesday and Friday. He still currently holds 358.91 million shares in the company worth a total of 9.64 billion dollars, or 4.2 percent of the company.

Ballmer is the second-largest Microsoft shareholder behind founder Bill Gates, who also sold 3 million of his own shares this week.

“Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion,” Ballmer said. “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.”

Microsoft shares closed Friday at 26.85 dollars.

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