Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer now owns not only the Los Angeles Clippers, but a big chunk of Twitter as well.
Ballmer earlier this morning disclosed that he owned 4% of Twitter in a Tweet. His share purchases apparently came over the course of the past few months. At Twitter’s current valuation of $20.76 billion, that stake is worth around $830 million.
There was a little bit of confusion around whether the Tweet was real, but Ballmer has apparently confirmed his ownership to Bloomberg directly. Shares of Twitter were up around 3% this morning after trading opened on the news.
In particular, Ballmer pointed to Twitter’s new Moments product, which launched earlier this month. Moments is centered around big stories on Twitter, such as the Mets advancing to the National League Championship Series, that users can flip through to see various Tweets that are relevant to those stories.
For a rich dude like Ballmer to show faith in the company following a major transition for the company is probably a good signal for investors. Twitter has gone through a bunch of big changes, with the company laying off 8% of its staff earlier this week, selecting co-founder Jack Dorsey as CEO and bringing on a new executive chairman, Omid Kordestani.
Still, there’s a tricky element coming up: Dorsey will continue to run Square, which filed its S-1 this week, signaling its intent to go public — in theory, sometime later this year. But earlier this month, Ballmer already signaled his faith in Dorsey in another Tweet (which we’re assuming is real, given Ballmer’s confirmation that the account is real to Bloomberg).
We reached out to Twitter, which said it had no comment on the disclosure from Ballmer.