For the first time in Microsoft’s history, Bill Gates is no longer the company’s largest individual shareholder. Gates sold nearly 8 million shares last week, putting him second behind fellow former CEO Steve Ballmer who owns 333 million shares, according to his most recent proxy statement. Ballmer retired as Microsoft’s CEO in February with the announcement that Satya Nadella had been appointed as new CEO of the company.
Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1975 and served as its CEO until 2000. He has sold 80 million shares annually each of the past 12 years under a preset trading plan to fund the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation has spent $28.3 billion fighting hunger and poverty since its inception back in 1997.
At the current rate, Gates will have no direct ownership stake of the company by mid 2018. Gates now owns 330.1 million shares.