Former Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said he sold his entire stake in Twitter Inc. because he no longer wants to focus on being an investor and the price was attractive.
“The price looked pretty good,” Ballmer said in an interview with Bloomberg TV at the Milken Conference. “I’m not really excited as a profession to be an investor.”
Ballmer, who owns the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association, acquired about a 4 percent stake of Twitter in 2015. The social-media company’s shares have have more than doubled over the past two years, as the company rebuilt credibility with investors and advertisers. In 2015, the year Ballmer invested, the stock traded in a range from more than $53 to less than $23.
Since co-founder Jack Dorsey returned to Twitter, first as interim CEO in July 2015 and in the permanent position as of Sept. 30 of that year, the company has attracted more users and advertisers to the platform through better personalization and a greater emphasis on video content.
Despite his stock sale, Ballmer said, “I still remain bullish about Twitter in the long run, whether it’s an acquisition or something else.”
Twitter shares fell 1.2 percent to $29.95 at 1:55 p.m. in New York. The stock hit a closing high for the year of $36.60 on March 14.
— With assistance by Dina Bass, and Emily Chang