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Ballmer sells 12% of his stake in MSFT, is he preparing to leave?

Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer has sold 49.3 million shares or 12% of his own shares, in Microsoft stocks in the past three days, worth about $1.3 billion. Steve Ballmer is Microsoft's top corporate executive in the company, and he has just shed a part of his stake in the company, and plans on selling more by the end of the year.

According to Reuters, Steve Ballmer plans on selling up to 75 million shares by the end of the year, which could possibly mean Steve Ballmer has lost faith in Microsoft and could be planning to leave the company.

However, Steve Ballmer denies any speculation that he might be leaving the company in a quote from the companies website, "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."

After Friday's massive sale, Steve Ballmer still holds approximately 359 million shares in the company, or about 4.2%. Ballmer's stocks are currently worth $9.6 billion dollars, at $26.85 a stock. This is the first time Ballmer has sold any stocks in Microsoft in the past seven years, and is already planning on selling more stocks, up to 75 million stocks, or a total of 18% of his total stocks, by the end of the year.

Executives of public companies can not sell their stocks before or after quarterly earning announcements, and all of their sales must be publicly disclosed. Ballmer still claims that this move is purely a financial move, and as reported by typepad, Steve will save $100 million on taxes this year.

If Steve Ballmer does step down as CEO in the near future, it would be a huge blow to the company. On the positive side, we could possibly see Steven Sinofsky become Microsoft's next CEO.

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