BOSTON (Reuters) - A year ago hedge fund investor David Einhorn very publicly urged Microsoft to get rid of its chief executive. Now he has dramatically gotten rid of more than half of his stake in the huge software company.
Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital held 7.5 million Microsoft Corp shares at the end of the first quarter, down from the 15.1 million the New York-based hedge fund owned at the end of the fourth quarter. Most fund managers are required to reveal their biggest stock positions some 45 days after the quarter ends.
Known for his outspoken style and sharp analysis, Einhorn urged Microsoft’s chief executive, Steve Ballmer, to step down, saying the company was stuck in the past. He made his case against Ballmer a year ago at the Ira Sohn Conference, coming out with the most pointed comments to date against Ballmer.
Still, Ballmer survived as CEO and Einhorn, who made his name by warning the world about Lehman Brothers’ poor financial health before the investment bank collapsed, sold millions of shares, a regulatory filing released on Tuesday shows.
The news comes on the eve of the Ira Sohn conference, where Einhorn is scheduled to present his current best investment ideas.
Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by Andre Grenon