Several billionaires have been actively selling their stock holdings in the first half of 2023, amounting to a combined value of over $9 billion. Among them are Larry Ellison, Rob Walton, and Joe Gebbia.
Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb, has significantly increased his stock sales since stepping down from his day-to-day role at the company in July 2022. During the first half of 2023 alone, Gebbia sold 7.3 million shares of Airbnb, totaling $890 million before taxes. This amounts to nearly 40% of all the stock he has sold since Airbnb went public in 2020. Gebbia’s recent stock sales likely helped finance his acquisition of a minority stake in the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs in January. Despite selling a substantial portion of his shares, Gebbia still retains an 8% ownership stake in Airbnb, which contributes to his estimated net worth of $7.9 billion.
The first half of 2023 saw many billionaires engaging in stock sales, as stock markets recovered from a challenging 2022. A total of twenty-one billionaires sold U.S. listed shares worth more than $100 million, resulting in combined sales of $9.3 billion. The reasons for these sales varied, including individuals leaving their companies, stock buybacks that could have led to undesirable ownership levels, and the opportunity to invest in sports teams.
Josh Harris, co-founder of Apollo Global Management, falls into two of these categories. Since leaving Apollo in 2021, Harris has sold approximately 30% of his shares, totaling $830 million. This will likely fund the acquisition of the NFL’s Washington Commanders for a record $6 billion, as well as his new alternative asset management firm, 26North, launched in September.
Rob Walton, an heir to the Walmart fortune, was involved in the purchase of the Denver Broncos in June 2022. He is one of the three largest sellers in the first half of 2023. Along with his siblings Alice and Jim Walton, Rob received 25% of the cash generated from sales of Walmart shares by the Walton Family Holdings Trust. Their nephew Lukas Walton also ranks among the top sellers due to his stake in the trust. The Walton family has sold nearly a tenth of their shares since 2016, amounting to nearly $25 billion. While some of the proceeds likely went towards purchasing the Denver Broncos, the primary purpose of the sales was to fund philanthropic endeavors and maintain the family’s stake in Walmart at around 50%.
Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, has seen his stake in the company grow to around 43% despite selling approximately $2 billion worth of shares since 2020. During the first half of 2023, Ellison sold $850 million worth of shares, making him one of the largest sellers after the Walton siblings and Gebbia. This is because Oracle repurchased nearly $50 billion of its own stock in the last three and a half years, preventing dilution of Ellison’s stake. Additionally, Ellison limited his share sales to those acquired by exercising expiring options. Oracle CEO Safra Catz and Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel also exercised options and sold resulting shares, ranking as the seventh and tenth largest sellers of the year, respectively. Bancel also fulfilled a pledge to donate the after-tax proceeds from selling 4.6 million options to charitable organizations.
In summary, billionaires like Larry Ellison, Rob Walton, and Joe Gebbia have been actively selling their stock holdings in 2023 for various reasons, including funding acquisitions and philanthropy. These sales have amounted to billions of dollars in total.
Top Billionaires Who Sold the Most Stock in the First Half of 2023
|Dean Solon||Shoals Technologies||$590,000,000|
|Peter Gassner||Veeva Systems||$460,000,000|
|Robert Sands||Constellation Brands||$290,000,000|
|Richard Sands||Constellation Brands||$290,000,000|
|Josh Harris||Apollo Global Management||$210,000,000|
|Abigail Bennett||Constellation Brands||$150,000,000|
|Zach Stern||Constellation Brands||$150,000,000|
|Ronda Stryker||Stryker Corporation||$140,000,000|