Bill Gates reduces Microsoft stake with $4.6bn donation

Jon Howard
August 16, 2017

The latest donation was made in June but has only just become public knowledge, following the filing of a document with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The gift was not pledged to a specific entity, but in the past most of Gates' donations have gone to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which directs the money to various causes supported by Gates.

Billionaire Bill Gates made his largest gift since 2000, giving away Microsoft shares accounting for 5% of his fortune, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. And Gates' stake in Microsoft has now shrunk to just 1.3 percent, compared to 24 percent in 1996. The report of the latest donation by Bill Gates first appeared in Bloomberg. He gave away US$16 billion worth of the stock in 1999 and US$5.1 billion a year later, according to calculations by Bloomberg.

The Microsoft co-founder has donated over $35 billion since 1994.

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As per a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's most recent financial statement, after the most recent donation, Gates' overall charitable donations now account for approximately $50 billion. He was briefly overtaken by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world's richest man on 27 July this year. Gates is the second largest and current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is No. 3.

Gates, who remains on Microsoft's board, has a net worth of $89.9 billion according to Forbes.

Mr Gates has probably directed more than 700 million shares of Microsoft into the foundation, adjusting for stock splits.

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