When Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced that CEO Steve Ballmer will retire in the next 12 months, everyone was shocked. Investors were so shocked that they excitedly snapped up the company’s stock in hopes of a dramatic turnaround. The stock closed out Friday’s trading day 7 percent higher than it opened.
Microsoft’s gains = Ballmer’s gains
If Steve Ballmer was at all concerned about why his retirement was such good news, those concerns could surely be soothed when he took a look at how much cash he gained today. John Paczkowski of All Things D reports that Ballmer raked in almost $1 billion—just by quitting his job.
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The executive’s last proxy statement shows that he owns more than 333 million shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). At Thursday’s closing price of $32.39, those shares were worth about $10.794 billion. But at today’s closing price of $34.77 a share, they were worth about $11.587 billion.
Ballmer can buy him 27,000 gold watches
Here’s another way of putting Steve Ballmer’s Microsoft shares into perspective. MarketWatch contributor Steve Goldstein of The Tell noted that thanks to the gains in the company’s stock price, Ballmer could buy himself about 27,000 gold Rolex watches, assuming one sells for around $30,000, as some of them do.
Other big gainers from today’s news about Ballmer of course include Bill Gates, who owns 398 million shares. Vanguard owns about 358 million shares, while activist investor ValueAct holds about a .7 percent stake in the company. Other major shareholders are SSgA, Capital Research, Fidelity and BlackRock.
So now the big news is going to be who Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s next CEO will be. Does the company already have someone in mind? It isn’t immediately obvious, so this is one process that might take a while, but Ballmer has already promised it won’t be any more than 12 months. Some possibilities include Surface tablet head Julie Larson-Green, COO Kevin Turner and enterprise leader Satya Nadella.