The stock market is floundering all because of the novel Coronavirus pandemic and while many are stuck assessing the long term effects of this pandemic, a huge number of tech executives have dumped their shares for major profit. In fact, insiders at US Tech companies ranging from Fintech to Cloud services collectively unloaded a huge US$3.6 billion worth of company shares in May alone with top executives from big tech companies like Facebook, General Electric, Cloudflare and Activision all selling small fortunes worth of stock.
An example is the CEO of Mastercard, Ajay Banga selling US$23.4 million worth of company stock. Also, there is the company’s general counsel, Timothy Murphy who liquidated 52,489 shares in order to take home a huge US$15 million most of the sales includes data begin in the week starting May 15th.
For example, navigating to the Mastercard block will show the company‘s CEO Ajay Banga selling $23.4 million worth of company stock.
You’ll also see that the company‘s general counsel, Timothy Murphy, liquidated 52,489 shares to pocket a cool $15 million. Most of the sales included in this data begin in the week starting May 15.
(Note A Flourish data visualisation)
Above is a diagram which explains more about this as navigating through each company, you can see how much execs hauled to make big profit. It’s in fact possible to filter the results by company in order to see a detailed information. For example, filtering PayPal will show that the CEO and CEO, Daniel Schulman just dumped shares worth US$3.6 million while his colleague Jonathan Auerbach triple his selling his stock valued at US$9.5 million.
Reed Hastings, in charge of streaming mainstay Netflix, also sold more than 50,000 shares for $449.23 each to earn $23.9 million. $NFLX has since dropped to a touch over $429.
Other notable inclusions were $10 million from Raymond Lane, the director of plant-based meat substitute firm Beyond Meat, and $27.2 million from Activision director Brian Kelly. Zoom‘s chief financial officer Kelly Steckelberg returned to sell stock worth $1.9 million.
Virgin Galactic whale sold $380 million worth of company stock
Novak Rodger who is the president of CRISPR was able to generate US$3.25 million all alone which is a smaller number but is a really big paycheck for him. Other biotech companies that did the same includes 10X Genomics and Seattle Genetics whose directors respectively made US$241.8 million and US$280 million literrally overnight with their stock.
Few sold more than the heads of biotech companies 10X Genomics and Seattle Genetics, whose directors respectively made $241.8 million and $280 million literally overnight with their stock.
Another big one is that of Richard Branson’s space tourism gambit Virgin Galactic which according to recently filed SEC documents, the Virgin-owned holding corporation named “Vieco 10” sold US$379.5 million worth of $SPCE between May 15 and 22 despite Branson literally begging world government to bail its struggling Virgin airlines out of apparently imminent collapse.
But this practice isn’t new
If you think about it, some of these sales appear to be well timed incredibly well and considering the number of tech companies in this piece who have traded at a great record high increase. However, one thing to also take note of is the fact that this isn’t a new thing for execs to set trades to execute under certain conditions without any direct indput.
A report has once been done on Zoom’s Steckelberg dumping millions in company stock just before the platform security concerns came to light. A company spokesperson later confirmed those trades were set at least 45 days earlier.
Still, there’s no doubt that selling stocks has kept our high-flying tech execs busy this month. I just hope their money managers got a decent cut.