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Steve Ballmer says he's made investment in Twitter

Technically Incorrect: The former Microsoft CEO opens a new, verified Twitter account and reveals he's acquired a 4 percent ownership stake in the microblogging company.

2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Steve Ballmer. An active Twitter investor? Bloomberg screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

They're full of star names, but they're underperforming.

They've recently changed their management, but few are sure how much difference this will make.

But enough about Los Angeles Clippers.

The team's owner, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, has made a new investment, one that might not seem dissimilar to his last big sporting one. Taking to a newly created (and immediately verified) Twitter account, Ballmer said he had taken an ownership stake in Twitter.

"Good job @twitter,@twittermoments innovation, @jack Ceo, leaner, more focused. Glad I bought 4% past few months. Like @alwaleedbinT move too," he tweeted.

This would make him the third biggest investor in Twitter, with a greater stake than new Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who owns around 3 percent. The San Francisco-based microblogging company's biggest shareholder is co-founder Evan Williams, who owns around 6.8 percent.

A Twitter spokesman confirmed to me that the account was verified as belonging to Ballmer. The spokesman could not confirm the investment, however. Ballmer wasn't immediately available for comment. Bloomberg reported that Ballmer had confirmed his investment, which would amount at current valuation to be around $840 million.

His praise for new Dorsey and for Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who has increased his and his investment firm's stake in Twitter to more than 5 percent, suggests Ballmer believes there is new momentum.

It's not clear how active Ballmer might be as an investor. It's hard, though, to imagine him ever being passive.

Twitter fired around 8 percent of its workforce this week, and clearly Ballmer believes this slimming down is a good move. Wall Street reacted positively to Ballmer's own investment, as shares rose by around 3 percent on his announcement.

His new Twitter account shows a fairly conservative spread of interests.

Of the 24 people he's following, four are Clippers players, one is LeBron James and another is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The remainder include many famous names, such as golfer Jordan Spieth, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and the White House.

Those of a mischievous mind might also observe that there's one famous name he isn't following: Bill Gates.