Why Did Satya Nadella Suddenly Dump Half His Microsoft Holdings Last Week?

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In an article on zerohedge.com (yeah, I know, but they show screen shots of the sales and the news is all over financial sites) Satya Nadella sold half his stock holdings in two chunks over November 22 and 23. This was not a pre-set sale or related to options, just a sell-off.

An appended stock chart shows that the sales depressed the MSFT stock price.

Pure speculation, but two obvious potential reasons come to mind (1) he foresees a drop in the stock price upcoming (maybe MSFT problems, or maybe general recession drop) or (2) he wants to pay the capital gains at the current rates, not the proposed higher rates.

Any other guesses?

Comments (13)

13 responses to “Why Did Satya Nadella Suddenly Dump Half His Microsoft Holdings Last Week?”

  1. navarac

    Perhaps he sees trouble over the inclusion of so much crap in W11 and Edge this last month. Just saying.

    • rob_segal

      I highly doubt Windows 11 and Edge have anything to do with this. There are economists saying the stock market is due for a big drop and the economy isn't as healthy as the stock market indicates. Inflation worries and troubles in China could tank the market. He also may not want to pay a higher rate later, so he sells off now.

  2. stevem

    Perhaps he wants to buy a big boat.

  3. GT Tecolotecreek

    Extra cash for his Christmas list... ;-)

  4. steenmachine

    I'm sure he's quite overweight in MSFT stock. Any financial advisor would push to sell and diversify at opportune times.


    And for sure part of that could be your point of pending 2022 changes in capital gains taxes.

  5. red.radar

    I would try not to read into it too much. If other executives follow, then maybe. But a single action is hard to generate a trend from.

  6. bkkcanuck

    Most CEOs that make hundreds of millions in stock options are over invested in one stock. Most investment advisors would recommend divesting a sizeable percentage of that stock so that your portfolio is more balanced. Also understand the selling of this stock was likely filed or decided upon in the past (sometimes a significant timeframe in the past) as to lengthen the time between decision and sale -- as a way of removing the same from 'current news' (i.e. ensuring not only that it is not traded on insider news, but also the impression that it might be traded based on insider news). Basically, it is a non-event from a news standpoint (other than the increased short term pressure on price due to a large shareholder divesting a portion of their portfolio).

  7. Paul Thurrott

    You were onto something with the capital gains angle:


    https://www.geekwire.com/2021/satya-nadella-sells-half-his-microsoft-stock-weeks-before-state-implements-new-capital-gains-tax/

  8. coolpatent

    Nobody sells half their stock portfolio to avoid capital gains taxes. In my opinion the capital gains tax avoidance is just a cover story. There's a prediction that the stock market is going to tank in 2022, so my guess he's trying to minimize the hit that will cause.


    https://www.forbes.com/sites/sergeiklebnikov/2021/11/23/this-wall-street-firm-sees-a-negative-year-ahead-for-the-stock-market/?sh=188be9c12bc4


  9. skyczy08

    Tax the rich baby!