Bill Gates may no longer be the chairman of Microsoft, but he is not relinquishing control over the company any time soon. Having been selling off large chunks of his Microsoft stocks for years, he has shown signs of slowing down in 2015. That’s all part of a broader plan to remain a significant Microsoft shareholder, reports Geekwire.
According to an interview with CNBC last year, Gates has been selling the same number of stocks every quarter for over a decade, according to a pre-established plan that ended in 2014. This amounted to a whopping $3.35 billion from more 68 million shares sold last year, finally pushing former CEO Steve Ballmer to the biggest shareholder position. The money is used to diversify Gates’ portfolio and fund the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations’ philanthropic efforts.
Comparatively, this year Gates only sold slightly more than one-third the amount of shares as last year at 28 million, which produced a substantial $1.51 billion. Despite this,,Gates still remained top of the list of U.S corporate insider sales in 2015, beating out the likes of Google’s Larry Page, Facebook’s Jan Koum, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, partly because of Microsoft’s considerable share price increase this year. Microsoft’s share climbed to $54 recently, up more than 50 percent in the past 2 years, and even forced a re-evaluation from Goldman-Sachs analysts, with the surge attributed to a strong cloud strategy.Further reading: Bill Gates, Microsoft