Is Steve Ballmer cashing out?

Posted by STARR KESHET

Is Steve "Balmy" Ballmer cashing out of Redmond by selling off a hefty $1.3 billion worth of lucrative Microsoft shares?

Well, it sure seems that way, especially since the beleaguered CEO confirmed his intent to offload even more shares by the end of the year - in an ostensible effort to "diversify" investments and plan for taxes.



Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has rushed to deny that the 54-year old executive - who stoically manned the company tiller since 2000 - may be preparing to jump ship. 

"Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion," Ballmer said on the company's website in an official statement quoted by Reuters.

"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."



As of Friday, Ballmer holds approximately 359 million Microsoft shares, or 4.2 percent of the corporation, worth a grand total of $9.6 billion.



It should be noted that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates still holds approximately 7.2 percent of the company, weighing in at a formidable 621 million shares.