Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is trimming his stock portfolio--he's sold off 7 million shares in the company he founded since the beginning of August.

Securities and Exchange Commission records show Gates launched the selloff on August 3rd, when he disposed of 2 million shares at a price of $24.17 per share. Gates then made four additional sales of shares totaling 5 million through Friday.

The price Gates received for the shares ranged from $23.64 to $24.17. Microsoft shares were off .81% to $23.17 in afternoon trading Monday. The company on Sunday announced a deal to sell its Razorfish digital ad agency to France's Publicis Groupe for $530 million in cash and stock.

Gates divestitures hardly make him a minority stakeholder in Microsoft. Even after the sale, he still holds more than 726 million shares in Microsoft, which in total are worth about $17 billion. Some executives routinely divest large numbers of shares in their companies for diversification or tax purposes.

Gates' selloff is well timed. Microsoft shares recently broke the $24 mark for the first time in several months.

Full story: InformationWeek