Back in July, Robbie Bach, President of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, sold off a pretty large amount of personal stock just before the company announced its intention to extend the warranty to three years on its problem-plagued console. Just how much has only just come to light though. It was previously thought that $6.2 million of stock had been sold off, based on data submitted to the SEC, however, according to CNN, it now turns out that a further $3 million went unreported until now. Oops.
While selling off the stock isn’t a problem in itself, doing so just days before announcing your intention to spend $1.5 billion on repairs and warranties and then not reporting the full amount as required is likely to cause a few upturned eyebrows at the very least.
Admittedly, Xbox 360 stock did not lose any value after the warranty announcement, but had it done so, Bach’s claims that the two moves were unrelated may have lost some of their credence. As it is, it seems highly unlikely that Bach would have intentionally used insider information as the basis for this sale, mainly because, as has been proved, these transactions are made publicly. Knowing you will get caught is an effective deterrent.
So although we’re doubtful that any intentional foul play has happened here, we do think that a little foresight would help remove suspicion from these co-incidences in the future.