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30 Years After Microsoft's Initial Public Offering

It's the 30th anniversary of Microsoft's initial public offering. Since the company went public on March 13, 1986, the company's stock has grown 89,000%, though the vast majority of that was on Cofounder Bill Gates' watch.

Reporting on the anniversary was CNBC's Josh Lipton, who noted an investment of $1,000 at the time of the IPO would now be worth $900,000, presuming you held on to the shares. "Not a bad gain for those early employees," Lipton said.

Despite incrementally liquidating his Microsoft shares, Gates reportedly still holds $87 billion in Microsoft stock, while Cofounder Paul Allen's holdings in the company are valued at $20 billion.

Of course, the bulk of Microsoft's growth came while Gates was CEO, when shares rose 73,000%. Microsoft fell on harder times once Steve Ballmer took the reins. During his tenure between 2000 and 2014, shares fell 34%. Though much of its value dropped on some key missteps, many tech stocks took a beating when Ballmer took over -- first with the dotcom crash and next with the financial crisis of 2008. Also, Gates was still active at Microsoft as chief software architect during the first eight years of Ballmer's tenure.

Since Satya Nadella took over as Microsoft's third CEO in 2014, Lipton noted the company's stock has risen 78% from the Ballmer days.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/13/2017 at 12:57 PM


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