Bill Gates no longer is the largest shareholder of Microsoft stock

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has reached an interesting milestone in his history of the company. Today, he sold off more of his shares in Microsoft and has lost his claim to be the biggest shareholder of the company he helped to found for the first time in its history.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recorded the sale of Gates's stock today, which actually happened on April 30. Gates sold 4.6 million shares, which reduced his ownership in Microsoft to "just" 330.1 million shares. That's below that of Microsoft new number one stock owner, former CEO Steve Ballmer, who still holds 333 million in Microsoft shares. Ballmer has indicated he plans to hold onto his stock options for quite some time.

Gates has been selling off his shares in Microsoft for the past several years, mostly to help support his non-profit efforts at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. However, Gates owns stock in other companies and financial ventures, which keeps him in the top spot for the richest man in the world. In other words, don't feel too bad for him; Gates is doing just fine.

Source: SEC via GeekWire | Bill Gates image via Shutterstock

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21 Comments

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It drives me crazy I can struggle for years and years to pay off my house (my only debt) but he could just sell off shares and clear that debt for me with just the tiniest dent. LOL

"Gates sold 4.6 million shares, which reduced his ownership in Microsoft to "just" 330.1 million shares".

Just 330.1 million? LOL! This mans wealth is very impressive. He had to step on and cut off a few heads along the way, but his hard work and determination has paid of tremendously.

Dot Matrix said,
Wow. Time does not look like it's going easy on him. :/

In fairness he's rapidly approaching 60

Raze said,
No kidding. Can you imagine the high levels of stress he has endured over the years.

Quite possibly, Ballmer's energy and decisions took a toll on him.

Dot Matrix said,
Wow. Time does not look like it's going easy on him. :/
I agree. My parents are in their late 60's and they look his age. However, they never had to deal with the stress this man has dealt with. Money isn't everything.

COKid said,
Do you criticize people often because of their looks?
I believe he was just pointing out that Bill looks very tired and "aged" in that picture.

Dot Matrix said,
Wow. Time does not look like it's going easy on him. :/

If you had a choice, who would you be right now, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs? I am going to choose Bill Gates, alive, healthy, doing good, have a lot of money and be able to spend without being some rich fake dead hippy from California (an innovative guy, but a dead one).

Steve Jobs innovated nothing. He wasn't an engineer. He was just a salesman, and a great one at that. Perhaps the greatest that ever lived. The way he marketed Apple products, his ability to entrance his audience when he was on stage and convince people that they were witnessing something truly revolutionary when it was in fact the same old stuff in a new packaging, makes him a god among his peers.

siah1214 said,

I hope I look that good at 58.

I am not sure what your experience with older people is, but most people still look pretty normal in their 50's. You don't start getting that aged "grandpa" look until late 60's. I know my grandfather is 90 now and doesn't look much older than that picture.

AsherGZ said,
Steve Jobs innovated nothing. He wasn't an engineer. He was just a salesman, and a great one at that. Perhaps the greatest that ever lived. The way he marketed Apple products, his ability to entrance his audience when he was on stage and convince people that they were witnessing something truly revolutionary when it was in fact the same old stuff in a new packaging, makes him a god among his peers.

I give respect where respect is due, he is a innovative visionary.

- Saw the relevance of the GUI and pioneered it to be something non tech geek people could approach.
- Help start the market for a personal computer with the Apple I and II.
- Defined what all one computing should be with the iMac in 1998, use of technologies like USB (even when other PC vendors didn't even think it made sense).
- iPod - first truly attractive MP3 player
- iTunes music software and store - first attractive legit one
- iLife, Music, Video, Photos, creative apps that look good and made you actually want to manage them use them and made them free (with the purchase of a Mac of course). When I look back at that period, Picture It! vs iPhoto, I would choose iPhoto.
- OS X, beautiful operating system when you compare it to what was on the market in 2001. Photo realistic icons, animated windowing effects (genie). Yeah, sure it was largely incompatible and slow and took years of refinement, but it stepped up the game for what a modern desktop OS should look like (Vista, which was just as slow and incompatible as OS 10.0).
- iPhone - wasn't the first smartphone, but was certainly the first smartphone that pioneered todays touch centric smartphones with its ease of use, multi-touch UI.
- iPad - wasn't the first Tablet: Windows Tablets and everything before was a geeks dream but surely nothing anyone would willing spend money on.

Steve Jobs vision was his innovation, he took the geek out of lot of the tech we see today. He took things from a niche to the mainstream: GUI based computing, Desktop computing, MP3 Players, desktop apps, Modern desktop operating systems look and feel, acquiring music legitimately (where is Play for sure), Smartphones, Tablets, Ultrabooks (MacBook Air).

So, instead of living in your Steve Ballmer in denial mentality, please realize, he might not have been an engineer, but sure did open the eyes of many. Bill Gates might have a engineering background, but didn't stop a lot of crap from happening on his watch.

If you even ask the engineers who worked around him, he forced them to refine something till it was absolutely great. The iPhone and iPhone UI you saw in the first device launched in 2007, is not what existed in 2006, 2005, 2004 or 2003. If you probably had left iPhones development to only the engineers, they would have added a physical keyboard and all sort of crap to it. In fact, they probably would have shoe horned the full desktop OS X into it.

Just like how Microsoft tried to shoe horn a mobile UI on a desktop OS - which again proves what happens when engineers don't have people like Jobs around. Market perception had to be the Jobs to the Windows Team to tell them Windows 8 in its current RTM state was utter crap. If you don't believe it, ask where Sinofsky, Julie Larson Green are now, fired and demoted.