Bill Gates unloads another 20 million Microsoft shares for $882 million

“Bill Gates has sold another 20 million shares of the company he co-founded, driving his portfolio under the 300-million mark for the first time, according to regulatory filings,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld. “Over a five-day span from July 24 to July 30, Gates sold the shares at prices ranging from $43.45 to $44.54, turning the holdings into $882 million in cash. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published the sales documents between July 28 and July 31.”

“Gates, former CEO and chairman, has been selling approximately 80 million shares annually — usually 20 million each quarter — for the last decade in a long-standing plan to fund the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” Keizer reports. “At the end of his latest sales stretch, Gates owned 298 million shares worth $12.9 billion at Monday’s closing price. If Gates continues his sales pace, he will empty his portfolio [of Microsoft shares] by September 2018.”

Keizer reports, “According to Forbes, Gates is the second-richest person on the planet, with an estimated wealth of $79.5 billion.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: According to Forbes, the world’s richest is “Carlos Slim Helu & family” with $79.6 billion.

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31 Comments

      1. Earned it? He got rich by running a profiteering racket, that unloaded extremely insecure, mostly stolen, shitty software on millions of helpless victims, and taking their money.

      2. There are 4160 working hours per year in a workaholic’s 80 hour work week. 40 years of 80-hour workweeks: 166,400 hours.

        Assuming he’s a good ol’ fashioned workaholic, he has earned an average of $477,764/hour for the past 40 years of his working life. I’m sure he (as well as other disgustingly rich individuals) has earned every penny.

        Side note: If he worked a typical 36-hour work-week, he’d have earned just over $1 million for every working hour.

        $227,506 for every hour that he was breathing for the last 40 years.
        $3,792 / min
        $63 / second

        Has any man contributed that much to justify this? Bill Gates isn’t the first that comes to mind.

        1. As much as those of us on this site may hate Microsoft products, Gates and Microsoft perhaps did more to push the PC into being an inexpensive commodity than anyone else. Yes, Apple was a better product, but Gates recognized very early on that the way to get PCs spread throughout the business world, and later to homes, was to have an easy-to-use Office suite and an OS that anyone could develop for.

          Apple fell down early by Steve being too controlling and Apple not providing robust APIs to developers. Remember, Gates created Word for Mac first. Apple had the opportunity, but Steve didn’t open the doors to developers. Apple corrected that error when it created the App Store and opened iOS to developers with very robust APIs that made development and use of core technologies easy. Apple took a page from Microsoft’s book, and it is working just as well as it did for Microsoft all those years ago.

          1. A bit of correction to the revisionist history…

            Apple didn’t fall down with regard to developers under Steve Jobs. It was Sculley (and the string of bad CEOs after him but before the return of Steve) that insisted on ridiculously high developer fees and not very good support for them even when the truly asinine fees were paid. You had to pay for even the most rudimentary development environment, tools and compilers for the Mac. While Apple was courting a small, select group of developers, Microsoft was out courting every developer they could — good or bad — with, by comparison, rather reasonable developer fees. Thus you had a couple good word processors for the Mac and several dozen (mostly not so good) word processors for DOS/Windows. (We’ve all seen the video of Balmer going, “Developers, Developers, Developers”, right?) The story got around that the Mac had little or no software while Windows had tons of software.

            The turn around really started long before the App Store. It started with Mac OS X and the inclusion of free development environments for those who wanted to download them. You didn’t even need to be a registered developer at that time in order to develop software for the Mac.

            Word existed on DOS long before it existed on the Mac. The Mac version was the first to support a graphical user interface. It was actually Excel that showed up on the Mac first (before Excel for DOS or Windows). [ [ [ Bye-the-bye, how many remember the original AT&T like logo for Excel? ] ] ] PowerPoint was actually a product purchased by Microsoft, originally developed by others. [ [ [ How many remember the original hardbound manual for PowerPoint? ] ] ]

            The real crime of the era was Gates blackmailing Sculley. Gates threatened to kill all software development for the Mac if Sculley didn’t agree to license the Mac System Software SOURCE CODE to Microsoft. Sculley didn’t know Microsoft was behind schedule and a bit of trouble developing Windows (as a skin on top of DOS, not as a stand alone OS). Sculley caved. Once Microsoft had the Mac source code they rapidly finished Windows 1.0. They included that Mac source code in Windows 2.0 and again in Windows 3.0. Apple filed suit, and Microsoft won. Microsoft came out with Windows 95.

            And, as they say, the rest is history.

            While most consider Gate’s QDOS to PC-DOS bluff to IBM as his biggest triumph, I believe Gate’s bullying Sculley into licensing the Mac’s crown jewels to Microsoft an even bigger deal. Without the Mac source code, Microsoft’s Windows DOS skin would have been significantly delayed and for several generations been a very, very poor imitation of the Mac. Apple might have been able to fend off the Windows-Intel duopoly and had a large share of the industry at all times. The Dark Days might never have happened.

            We’ll never know.

          2. Microsoft took advantage of market conditions no doubt, fair play to them, but I doubt that computing would have largely died a death in consumer markets if they hadn’t been around. If it hadn’t been Microsoft it would have been someone else, it would have happened differently, and maybe slower, maybe faster, but it would have happened.

      3. Maybe he did, but after a certain point he became so rich that he was just making money without having to do anything. There was a period were Microsoft essentially had a monopoly on many things so they made money regardless of the quality of their product or service.

    1. It’s disgusting that you would think something like this. All of us have the right to earn as much as our talents allow us to earn. We should not envy or hate the wealthy. We should strive to achieve the same success.

      1. So you think that Gates is approximately a billion times more talented/productive/harder working than you are? Sorry, but I disagree that this is even possible. Luck should have its limits because allowing the rich to tilt the playing field so far in their favor hurts everyone.

        1. Why does it have to be linear? It’s not a measure of productivity. The most successful people in many fields make *much* more than those just a notch below them. Sports, music, writing, film, television, etc.

      2. People are mad and angry with wealthy people like Gates because they are not in the same position, but yet they would all trade spots with him in a second if truly given the opportunity.

        Bill Gates did what he did, and he made a fortune doing it. So did LeBron James, but should anyone make that much money playing basketball? How about Warren Buffet? Should Bill Clinton get paid $100,000 per speech? How about Steve Jobs?

        Yes, because the market will pay it. The market will not pay you or I that much money for what we are bringing to the table. So bring something new, something different, or something applied differently if that is what you want. But don’t get all jealous and angry because someone else did Think Different.

        1. That is rather simplified. American market pays for it because there is little regulation, and personal capital is often considered a benchmark of overall success and value. There are developed countries in the world where the proportion between lowest-paid and highest-paid worker is significantly lower (Norway comes to mind), and yet they still manage to have standard of living that is mostly above the US in most categories, and they still manage to keep their best and brightest at home.

          The exorbitantly (and absurdly) high executive pay in the US is (paradoxically) mostly a consequence of the laws of transparency, requiring every company to disclose their CEO’s reward package. Since everyone can now easily find out how much other CEOs are paid, when the executive board of some company votes to decide how much their CEO should be paid, they look at competitors’ CEOs’ pay and set their own to be between 70-90 percentile (reflecting their belief that their CEO is better than 70-90% of competitors’). As soon as their CEO’s pay package falls below about 50% (i.e. when other competitors raise their CEOs’ pay to reflect their own belief that theirs are better), the company will raise its own CEO package again, perpetuating a never-ending upwards race that never reflects the actual quality and value of the talent.

          1. Your example of noreg (Norway) is extremely simplified, and your logic is faulty. This is a country that is fortunate enough to be awash in crude oil on par with many Mideast countries. Norway derive nearly 30% of GDP from petroleum and hold approximately 55% of the entire North Sea oil reserves, the profits from which the Norwegian government uses to run what is essentially a socialist (with free-market ventures as well), cradle-to-grave society. Hospital expenses for your birth — paid for! Burial expenses for your funeral — paid for! If most countries’ citizens could simply not have bills like that (and others) to pay, it would have a tremendous leveling effect on personal income.

            And if every country had this amount of oil serving as a “sugar daddy”, you can bet things would be radically different in your country, too.

            — Bjørn

            1. I disagree. Yes, Norway is rich (and essentially “socialist”) because of all that crude oil, but it isn’t all that oil revenue that is holding down the ratio between lowest- and highest-paid workers. The point I was trying to make is, beyond a certain monetary value, there is really no real difference whether someone is earning a million or twenty million dollars per year. In other words, withe the exception of a few people on the planet who lead obscenely lavish, ostentatious and extravagant lifestyles, vast majority of the rich spend significantly less than what they make, and the rest just piles up. The only purpose of that big pile is to exist as a measure of success, importance, brilliance or other desirable quality. Those $80 billion are not really doing much for anyone (including Bill Gates, or Carlos Slim Helu) other than telling everyone else how great and successful the two are at making money.

  1. As much as I dislike his products, and his company, you gotta admit he has earned his money…and can be seen as an inspiration to those with autism or Aspergers. I have been inspired to achieve my dreams, because of him. Well…mostly to Steve Jobs, but Billy is the most vocal proponent of autism awareness. But he did work to achieve his riches, at least.

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