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09.14.09

Why is Microsoft’s Management Getting Out of Microsoft?

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[W]e’re not going to have products that are much more successful than Vista has been.”

Steve Ballmer, less than a year ago

Summary: Craig Mundie sells about a third of his Microsoft shares in just one day

WHEN a company’s Board of Directors gets smaller and smaller, it indicates that there is a problem. Microsoft’s CFO is selling MSFT shares and so do Bill Gates and Microsoft’s COO, as reported at the beginning of this month and in August. Perhaps they all know what is coming (or rather, what’s not coming). Are they not excited and enthusiastic about the approaching release of Vista 7? Steve Ballmer seems like the last cheerleader left for this overly hyped second incarnation of Vista. If Microsoft’s pitch (not deeds, such as trade of stocks) was to be believed, Vista 7 would be the most wonderful thing since sliced bread.

Microsoft’s Craig Mundie was put in a position where he impacts government policy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] despite his well-documented hostility towards Free(dom) software. Craig Mundie once said: “This viral aspect of the GPL poses a threat to the intellectual property of any organization making use of it.” There are worse quotes from Mundie regarding the GPL — ones that we covered before. Mundie’s group is very badly affected by the recent layoffs (further layoffs are still ongoing, albeit quietly) and it should therefore not surprise that Mundie dumps almost a third of his shares.

Craig J. Mundie, chief research and strategy officer, sold 70,000 shares on Sept. 8 for $1.7 million, an average price of $24.48 each. After the sale, Mundie owned around 184,900 shares, down from around 254,900 shares.

He sells a almost too much for a single day and it’s his employer’s stock. Is there no regulatory issue here? Are laws relating to inside-trading not being applied to everyone who is managing Microsoft? How about Robbie Bach for example [1, 2, 3]? Are these people still above the law?

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