Who Owns Microsoft: It’s Not Bill Gates Anymore!

Who owns Microsoft now? While Bill Gates was initially a significant shareholder, he sold almost all of his shares. Read on to find out more...

Gary Fox

Who Owns Microsoft Now

Who Owns Microsoft: It’s Not Bill Gates Anymore!

If you want to find out who owns Microsoft you have to understand that Bill Gates decided to sell most of his shares. So, who owns Microsoft now?

Few companies have become as famous as Microsoft in the dynamic global technology landscape. Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft quickly ascended from a small software startup to a behemoth in the tech industry, fundamentally reshaping how the world interacts with technology. Central to this narrative has been the evolution of its ownership structure, particularly the changes in shareholding by co-founder Bill Gates, whose vision propelled Microsoft into the global spotlight.

From its initial public offering in 1986, where Gates held 45% of the company’s shares, his role as a shareholder has undergone significant changes, mirroring his shifting involvement with the company. Over the decades, Gates systematically reduced his stake. This process reflected his transition from Microsoft’s operational helm to philanthropic endeavours and marked fundamental strategic shifts within Microsoft. This reduced stake by Gates and the corresponding rise of institutional and diverse individual investors have influenced Microsoft’s governance and strategic direction, accommodating broader interests while steering the company through new technological frontiers and market challenges.

Key Facts About Microsoft

Who Owns Microsoft - The Revenue Performance
Microsoft’s annual revenue worldwide from FY 2002 to FY 2023 (Source: Statista)
. Company name:



Bill Gates and Paul Allen

Launch date:

April 4, 1975

Year founded:


Company CEO:

Satya Nadella


Redmond, Washington

Number of employees

221,000 (2023)

Ticker symbol


Annual revenue

$211.915 billion (2023)

Profit | Net Income

$72.4 billion (2023)

Market Cap

$3.06 trillion (April 2024)

Microsoft Subsidiaries

  1. LinkedIn Corporation – A professional networking platform acquired by Microsoft in 2016.
  2. GitHub, Inc. – A platform for software development and version control using Git, acquired in 2018.
  3. Skype Communications S.a.r.l – A telecommunications application providing video chat and voice calls, acquired in 2011.
  4. Mojang Studios – The Swedish game developer known for creating the popular game Minecraft, acquired in 2014.
  5. Zenimax Media Inc. – A media company known for its video game publishing through subsidiaries like Bethesda Softworks, acquired in 2021.
  6. Nuance Communications, Inc. – A technology company known for its conversational AI and cloud-based clinical intelligence for healthcare providers, acquired in 2021.
  7. Xamarin Inc. – A company that provides tools for developing mobile applications, acquired in 2016.
  8. PlayFab, Inc. – A backend platform for building and managing live games, acquired in 2018.
  9. Compulsion Games – A video game development studio based in Canada, acquired in 2018.
  10. Obsidian Entertainment – An American video game developer known for RPGs, acquired in 2018.
  11. Rare Ltd. – A British video game developer, acquired in 2002.
  12. Double Fine Productions – A game development studio known for titles like Psychonauts, acquired in 2019.
  13. Nokia’s Devices and Services Division – Acquired in 2014 to bolster Microsoft’s mobile presence.
  14. aQuantive, Inc. – A digital marketing service and technology company, acquired in 2007.
  15. Visio Corporation – A diagramming and vector graphics application, acquired in 2000.
  16. Dynamics 365 – Formed from the acquisition of Great Plains Software and Navision, which are now integrated into Microsoft’s suite of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
  17. Bungie, Inc. – Initially acquired in 2000 and later became independent in 2007, but pivotal in the development of the Halo series for Xbox.
  18. InXile Entertainment – A video game development company known for its role-playing games, acquired in 2018.
  19. Adallom – A cloud security company, acquired in 2015.
  20. RiskIQ – A leader in global threat intelligence and attack surface management, acquired in 2021.

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The Quick Answers To Who Owns Microsoft

Who Owns Microsoft Now

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Institutional Investors in Who Own Shares in Microsoft

Microsoft’s ownership structure is significantly influenced by institutional investors. According to data from Nasdaq as of February 9, institutional investors hold 69.14% of Microsoft’s outstanding shares. This dominance of institutional holdings is a common trait in the software industry, although Microsoft trails behind peers like Synopsys, Palo Alto Networks, and Adobe, where institutional holdings surpass 80% of shares.

Institutional investors, including large entities such as investment banks, mutual funds, and pension funds, contribute to the stability and liquidity of Microsoft’s stock. They typically make long-term investments based on detailed analysis conducted by experienced analysts. For instance, Vanguard Group holds the largest share of Microsoft stock among institutional investors, owning 649.20 million shares, or 8.7% of total outstanding shares. Blackrock follows with 538.93 million shares, accounting for 7.1% of the total. Other key institutional shareholders include State Street Corporation, Fidelity (FMR LLC), and T Rowe Price Associates.

Top 5 Investors Who Own Microsoft

Vanguard Group Inc

Vanguard Group Inc hold 8.38% of Microsoft shares, which translates to about 622.5 million shares with a total value of approximately $196.5 billion.

Vanguard Group Inc. is an American investment management company founded by John C. Bogle in 1975. It is known for pioneering low-cost index investing and is one of the world’s largest investment management firms. Vanguard offers a wide range of investment products, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and retirement planning services. The company is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their shareholders, allowing Vanguard to prioritize the interests of its clients. Vanguard is headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and has a global presence with offices in various countries. The company is known for its client-centric approach, low expense ratios, and commitment to long-term investing strategies.

Blackrock Inc

BlackRock controls 4.59% of shares, equivalent to about 338.3 million shares valued at around $111.1 billion.

BlackRock, Inc. is a multinational investment management corporation founded in 1988 by Larry Fink and others. It is the world’s largest asset manager, with approximately $9.6 trillion in assets under management as of March 31, 2023. BlackRock offers a wide range of investment products and services, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and private equity. The company is known for its expertise in risk management and its use of advanced technology, such as the Aladdin platform, which provides risk analysis and portfolio management tools. BlackRock serves a diverse client base, including institutions, governments, and individual investors. The company is headquartered in New York City and has offices in over 30 countries worldwide. BlackRock has been at the forefront of the growing trend towards sustainable investing, integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into its investment processes.

State Street Global Advisors

State Street Global Advisors hold 3.95% of Microsoft, with approximately 293.6 million shares worth about $92.7 billion.

State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) is a prominent global investment management firm, founded in 1978. As the asset management division of State Street Corporation, SSGA is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and operates with a global reach. It manages over $4.1 trillion in assets, making it one of the largest investment managers worldwide. SSGA is known for its pioneering role in creating the first US ETF and focuses on a range of investment strategies including passive and active management across various asset classes.

Norges Bank Investment Management

Norges Bank Investment Management have a 1.16% stake, owning 86.3 million shares valued at approximately $28.3 billion.

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) is the investment management division of the Norwegian Central Bank (Norges Bank). Established to manage the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, NBIM focuses on long-term investment strategies. As one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, it manages assets worth over $1 trillion. The fund invests in a wide range of asset classes including equities, fixed income, and real estate globally. NBIM operates with a mandate to secure and grow the financial wealth of the Norwegian state.

Capital Research Global Investors

Capital Research & Management Co. possesses slightly over 1.15% with about 85 million shares valued at nearly $28 billion.

Capital Research Global Investors (CRGI) is a division of Capital Research and Management Company (CRMC), which is part of the Capital Group Companies, Inc. Founded in 1931, Capital Group is one of the oldest and largest investment management firms in the world, with approximately $2.2 trillion in assets under management as of December 31, 2022. CRGI focuses on global investing, managing equity portfolios across various geographies and sectors. The division employs a research-driven approach to investing, with a team of experienced analysts and portfolio managers who conduct in-depth analysis of companies and industries worldwide. CRGI is known for its long-term investment horizon, fundamental research, and active management style. The division offers a range of investment vehicles, including mutual funds and institutional accounts, catering to a diverse client base. As with other Capital Group divisions, CRGI is committed to delivering superior long-term investment results and exceptional client service.

Individual Shareholders Who Own Shares In Microsoft

Alongside institutional investors, individual shareholders play a critical role in Microsoft’s ownership dynamics. Insiders and retail investors collectively hold a smaller, yet influential portion of the company’s shares. As reported by Wallstreet Zen, insiders account for 6.24% of Microsoft’s market share, and retail investors account for 24.56% of Microsoft’s market share.

High-profile individuals like former CEO Steve Ballmer significantly impact perceptions of the company’s stability and future prospects. Ballmer holds approximately 4% of Microsoft’s shares, underscoring his ongoing investment and belief in the company. Other notable individual investors include Bill Gates and current executives such as Satya Nadella and Bradford L. Smith, each holding shares that while smaller, indicate a personal stake in the company’s success.

Top 3 Individual Insider Shareholders at Microsoft

Satya Nadella As of March 2024, Satya Nadella holds 801,331 shares of Microsoft. Appointed CEO in 2014, Nadella has been with the company since 1992, driving significant growth in Microsoft’s cloud services. His leadership has been pivotal in enhancing Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, previously working at Sun Microsystems.

Bradford L. Smith Bradford Smith possesses 570,826 shares as of February 2024. He is the President and Vice Chair, initially joining Microsoft as general counsel in 2002. Smith spearheads the company’s major public initiatives including cybersecurity and environmental sustainability, and has a background in law with Covington and Burling.

Kathleen Hogan Kathleen Hogan owns 159,764 shares as of March 2024. As Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, she focuses on the welfare of over 220,000 employees globally. Recognised as HR Executive of the Year in 2021, Hogan is active in various HR and technology boards, contributing significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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