These billionaires sold the most stock so far in 2023


Twenty-one of the world’s richest people, including Larry Ellison and Rob Walton, have unloaded shares worth more than $9 billion combined in the first six months of this year.

Since stepping down from his day-to-day role at Airbnb in July 2022, cofounder Joe Gebbia has ramped up his stock sales, unloading 7.3 million shares of the peer-to-peer home renter for $890 million before tax during the first half of 2023 alone–more than all but three other billionaires. That’s nearly 40% of all the stock he’s sold since Airbnb went public in 2020 (in terms of both dollars and shares), and likely helped fund his acquisition of a minority stake in the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs in January. Gebbia also founded Samara, which builds solar-powered accessory dwelling units that can be used as additional space or rented out by homeowners, in November 2022. Despite all that selling, Gebbia still owns 8% of Airbnb, which makes up the the vast majority of his estimated $7.9 billion net worth. He remains an Airbnb board member and continues to chair its nonprofit arm,

With stocks bouncing back from a terrible 2022, many of the world’s richest people were in a selling mood during the first half of 2023. Gebbia was one of twenty-one billionaires who sold U.S. listed shares worth more than $100 million over the last six months—$9.3 billion in sales combined before taxes and the cost of option exercises in all cases (spokespeople for the billionaires declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment). Reasons for selling ranged from leaving their companies, stock buybacks that would’ve pushed their stakes to undesirable levels, the looming expiration of options or scooping up a sports team that just hit the market.

Josh Harris fell in two of those categories, unloading $210 million of stock in Apollo Global Management, the private equity giant he cofounded in 1990, during the first half of 2023. Since leaving Apollo in 2021, Harris–now worth an estimated $6.5 billion–has dumped nearly 30% of his shares for $830 million, which will likely help fund a Harris-led group’s pending acquisition of the NFL’s Washington Commanders for a record $6 billion, as well as the new alternative asset management firm Harris launched last September, 26North.

Walmart heir Rob Walton recently bought a football team of his own, leading a group that purchased the Denver Broncos for a then record $4.65 billion in June 2022. He’s also one of the three biggest sellers of the year so far. Forbes estimates that Rob, Alice and Jim Walton, the three living children of Walmart founder Sam Walton (d. 1992), each received 25% of the $4.5 billion in cash generated by sales of the retailer’s shares by their Walton Family Holdings Trust. Their nephew Lukas Walton ranked as the ninth biggest seller of the last six months, thanks to his estimated 8% stake in the vehicle (with the rest of the sales estimated as split between his mother Christy Walton and charitable trusts in the name of his father John Walton, who died in 2015). After holding onto their Walmart stock for decades, the Waltons have now sold nearly a tenth of their shares since 2016 for nearly $25 billion. While that certainly would’ve helped buy the Broncos, it’s likely that the primary goals of the Walton’s recent selling have been to fund their philanthropy and to keep the family’s stake right around 50% as Walmart has repurchased nearly $50 billion of its own stock over the last seven and a half years. As of the most recent proxy statement, the Walton Family Holdings Trust and another of the clan’s vehicles, Walton Enterprises, owned 46% of the retailer’s stock.

Larry Ellison, meanwhile, has seen his stake in Oracle grow by nearly a fifth to around 43%, despite the fact that he sold roughly $2 billion of his shares since 2020, including $850 million worth during the first half of 2023–more than anyone but the three Walton siblings and Gebbia. That’s because the software company Ellison cofounded and chairs bought back nearly $50 billion of its own stock over the last three and a half years. But that’s only one of the reasons Ellison’s stake wasn’t diluted by his share sales. The other is that he limited the shares he sold during the period to those acquired by exercising options set to expire. That was also the case for Oracle CEO Safra Catz and Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, both of whom exercised options and immediately sold the resulting shares for $470 million and $300 million apiece, ranking them as the seventh and 10th biggest sellers of the year so far, respectively. During the first half of 2023, Bancel also completed the last two-fifths of his May 2022 pledge to exercise 4.6 million options and donate the after-tax proceeds from selling the shares to charitable organizations like UNICEF, Boston Medical Center and gang rehabilitation and re-entry program Homeboy Industries.

Here are the billionaires that sold the most stock during the first half of 2023:
BillionaireStockPre-Tax Proceeds
Rob WaltonWalmart$1,100,000,000
Alice WaltonWalmart$1,100,000,000
Jim WaltonWalmart$1,100,000,000
Joe GebbiaAirbnb$890,000,000
Larry EllisonOracle$850,000,000
Dean SolonShoals Technologies$590,000,000
Safra CatzOracle$470,000,000
Peter GassnerVeeva Systems$460,000,000
Lukas WaltonWalmart$360,000,000
Stephane BancelModerna$300,000,000
Robert SandsConstellation Brands$290,000,000
Richard SandsConstellation Brands$290,000,000
Josh HarrisApollo Global Management$210,000,000
Paul SavilleNVR$190,000,000
Christy WaltonWalmart$180,000,000
Scott FarquharAtlassian$170,000,000
Mike Cannon-BrooksAtlassian$170,000,000
Abigail BennettConstellation Brands$150,000,000
Zach SternConstellation Brands$150,000,000
Ronda StrykerStryker Corporation$140,000,000
Marc BenioffSalesforce$110,000,000
Source: Insider Insights, Forbes Reporting

This article was first published on and all figures are in USD.

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