Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has sold 49.3 million Microsoft shares, worth US$1.3 billion, reducing his shareholding in the company by 12 per cent. The sale is his first for seven years.
According to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, he plans to sell another 75 million shares by the end of the year.
At present, Ballmer holds 359 million Microsoft shares, 4.2 per cent of the company.
Ballmer denies that the sale is any harbinger of an exit from Microsoft and told Reuters it is "a personal financial matter".