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Investors on Microsoft: What, Ballmer, leaving? Hand me my wallet

Shareholders snap up more stocks on eve of CEO's departure

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Two Microsoft investors have upped their stakes in the firm ahead of the exit of chief executive Steve Ballmer, who announced his retirement a few months ago.

Highfields Capital said in a regulatory filing first spotted by Reuters that it now holds six times the number of shares it used to, having increased its stake during Q3 to 31 million stocks.

Meanwhile, ValueAct also bought another nine million shares in Microsoft, meaning the Windows maker now comprises a whole fifth of its portfolio. The hedge fund was already quite a large shareholder and now owns 66.8 million Microsoft stocks.

Incumbent chief exec Steve Ballmer said in August that he was planning to leave the company in the next year. Shares in the firm have risen nearly 15 per cent since he made the announcement.

Investors are no doubt hopeful that a new chief will shake things up at Microsoft and return the firm to the golden days when it ruled the tech sector with an iron fist. ®

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