Microsoft Layoffs’ Ripple Effect: Even Richer Executives

**Editor’s Note: Click here for a recap of layoffs impacting some of the biggest names doing business in the indirect channel.**

Shares of Microsoft have taken off since Satya Nadella was named CEO, and after last week’s unprecedented layoffs news, and former and current leaders are benefiting handsomely.

SEC documents show that Steve Ballmer, who stepped down as CEO on Feb. 3, now is $2.8 billion richer thanks to a 23 percent increase in share values since the day he left the company. That puts his entire portfolio value at $14.9 billion, ITworld reported today.

Meantime, Bill Gates, who owns 318 million shares, has gained almost $2.7 billion from his Microsoft holdings in less than six months. His totals come to $14.3 billion, according to ITworld. Expect the figures to decline, though, as Gates continues to sell shares in the company he cofounded.

New CEO Nadella is sitting pretty, too. His shares now are worth about $24.8 million and he stands to earn almost 978,000 more over the next four years if he sticks around. ITworld said those shares held a paper value of $43.7 million as of Thursday.

Wall Street is hoping for the “Nadella Effect” now that Ballmer is gone. So far, investors have taken a liking to Nadella’s strategies for Microsoft, traditionally a software company. He soon will have the corporation focusing more on cloud and mobility. That tactic is making shareholders happy, as are the record number of job cuts Nadella is implementing. (One analyst called those layoffs “a chainsaw.”) As proof of their approval of the job cuts, investors have boosted Microsoft’s stock prices almost 6 percent in one week.

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