In recently criticizing Yahoo!'s insiders for dumping $233mm in stock over the last 2 years, when they've only bought $103k in shares, I would be remiss if I also didn't call out 2 other executives for big share dumps last week:
- Craig Mundie, head of research and strategy for Microsoft (MSFT). Craig decided to sell stock worth $1.7mm recently. Craig has resided over Microsoft's R&D efforts for the last few years. This group eats up nearly $10 billion annually of Microsoft's free cash flow. It is the group Microsoft looks for to compete in mobile computing or other areas, rather than buying a leading company such as, say, Research In Motion (RIMM). The R&D group has eaten up about $60 billion of Microsoft's cash in the last 10 years with not much to show for it. This latest share dump is very disappointing to me as a MSFT shareholder, especially given his group's performance.
- Jack Ma, head of Alibaba.com. When news broke last week about how much Yahoo! stock had been sold by insiders in the last 2 years, perhaps Jack Ma got inspired. The head of Alibaba.com -- whose parent company is 40% owned by Yahoo! -- sold stock worth $35mm last week. That's a Terry Semel-sized disgorgement of shares. His explanation for the share sale was the most original I've ever read for a share dump: "There are many things that I need to learn how to do ... all of which I would like to do while I am still young and will need to do now.... I need to start learning now how to deploy money to do proper things, to experience the real meaning and responsibilities of having wealth." Good luck, Jack. It is a heavy burden you carry, but I know you will do it with a solemn and determined focus.