Ranked: Big Tech CEO Insider Trading During the First Half of 2021
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Ranked: Big Tech CEO Insider Trading During the First Half of 2021

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Ranked: Big Tech CEO Insider Trading During the First Half of 2021

Big Tech CEO Insider Trading During The First Half of 2021

When CEOs of major companies are selling their shares, investors can’t help but notice.

After all, these decisions have a direct effect on the personal wealth of these insiders, which can say plenty about their convictions with respect to the future direction of the companies they run.

Considering that Big Tech stocks are some of the most popular holdings in today’s portfolios, and are backed by a collective $5.3 trillion in institutional investment, how do the CEOs of these organizations rank by their insider selling?

CEOStockShares Sold H1 2021Value of Shares ($M)
Jeff BezosAmazon (AMZN)2.0 million$6,600
Mark ZuckerbergFacebook (FB)7.1 million$2,200
Satya NadellaMicrosoft (MSFT)278,694
$65
Sundar PichaiGoogle (GOOGL)27,000$62
Tim CookApple (AAPL)0$0

Breaking Down Insider Trading, by CEO

Let’s dive into the insider trading activity of each Big Tech CEO:

Jeff Bezos

During the first half of 2021, Jeff Bezos sold 2 million shares of Amazon worth $6.6 billion.

This activity was spread across 15 different transactions, representing an average of $440 million per transaction. Altogether, this ranks him first by CEO insider selling, by total dollar proceeds. Bezos’s time as CEO of Amazon came to an end shortly after the half way mark for the year.

Mark Zuckerberg

In second place is Mark Zuckerberg, who has been significantly busier selling than the rest.

In the first half of 2021, he unloaded 7.1 million shares of Facebook onto the open market, worth $2.2 billion. What makes these transactions interesting is the sheer quantity of them, as he sold on 136 out of 180 days. On average, that’s $12 million worth of stock sold every day.

Zuckerberg’s record year of selling in 2018 resulted in over $5 billion worth of stock sold, but over 90% of his net worth still remains in the company.

Satya Nadella

Next is Satya Nadella, who sold 278,694 shares of Microsoft, worth $234 million. Despite this, the Microsoft CEO still holds an estimated 1.6 million shares, which is the largest of any insider.

Microsoft’s stock has been on a tear for a number of years now, and belongs to an elite trillion dollar club, which consists of only six public companies.

Sundar Pichai

Fourth on the list is Sundar Pichai who has been at the helm at Google for six years now. Since the start of 2021, he’s sold 27,000 shares through nine separate transactions, worth $62.5 million. However, Pichai still has an estimated 6,407 Class A and 114,861 Class C shares.

Google is closing in on a $2 trillion valuation and is the best performing Big Tech stock, with shares rising 60% year-to-date. Their market share growth from U.S. ad revenues is a large contributing factor.

Tim Cook

Last, is Tim Cook, who just surpassed a decade as Apple CEO.

During this time, shares have rallied over 1,000% and annual sales have gone from $100 billion to $347 billion. That said, Cook has sold 0 shares of Apple during the first half of 2021. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t sold shares elsewhere, though. Cook also sits on the board of directors for Nike, and has sold $6.9 million worth of shares this year.

Measuring Insider Selling

All things equal, it’s desirable for management to have skin in the game, and be invested alongside shareholders. It can also be seen as aligning long-term interests.

A good measure of insider selling activity is in relation to the existing stake in the company. For example, selling $6.6 billion worth of shares may sound like a lot, but when there are 51.7 million Amazon shares remaining for Jeff Bezos, it actually represents a small portion and is probably not cause for panic.

If, however, executives are disclosing large transactions relative to their total stakes, it might be worth digging deeper.

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A Visual Breakdown of Global Music Consumption

How do people around the world consume their music, and how are these consumption habits changing as technology evolves?

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A Visual Breakdown of Global Music Consumption

To maximize any chance of success in the music business, aspiring artists must gain an understanding of how music is consumed and how that is changing alongside technology.

This graphic from Athul Alexander highlights global music consumption habits. Data is from 2022 and is sourced from a survey of over 44,000 people from 22 countries by IFPI that asked people their primary mode for consuming music.

As of 2022, paid subscription services (i.e. Apple Music, Spotify) are the most preferred option for listeners, accounting for nearly one-fourth of main platform share.

RankServiceShareExamples
1Paid Audio Streaming24%Spotify, Apple Music
2Video Streaming19%YouTube
3Radio17%
4Purchased Music10%Vinyls, CDs, purchased digital albums
5Ad-Supported Audio Streaming8%Amazon, Deezer
6Short-form Videos8%TikTok
7Social Media Videos5%Facebook, Instagram
8Live Music4%concerts, livestreams
9Other6%music on TV, phone-to-phone transfers

Short-form video platforms like TikTok, with an 8% share of primary music listeners, are a fast-growing medium. Several young artists have found initial success and traction using these platforms over the past few years.

And though video “killed the radio star,” it hasn’t killed listening to music on the radio. A healthy, 17% of respondents picked radio as their primary avenue for listening to music.

Streaming Supremacy and Virality

There’s no doubt that the internet has revolutionized how music is being consumed.

Including all video and music streaming, internet-based music consumption was the primary choice for 64% of respondents. That’s not even accounting for livestreams or music purchased through the internet.

PlatformShare
Internet-based64%
Non-Internet Based37%

This internet-heavy metric is being reflected on the business side as well, with 75% of the music industry’s revenues in the U.S. coming from streaming.

However, for artists, streaming revenue is usually the third-biggest earner after live performances and sales.

But utilizing streaming to its fullest potential keeps modern artists in the loop. For example, Beyoncé was one of the first artists to utilize streaming platforms to release an album completely unannounced in 2013, a marketing move that has been replicated many times since.

Where does this data come from?

Source: IFPI

Data note: IFPI surveyed over 44,000 people from 22 countries, asking them about their primary mode of consuming music. They exclude India and China from their global figures to prevent the size of the population from influencing the global weighted average. Percentages may also not add up to 100 because of rounded figures.

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