Former Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, philanthropist, businessman, and investor – Steve Ballmer is a famous man across many sectors. It also helps that he is one of the richest people in the world.
Steve Ballmer has not only proven, over the years, that he is brilliant but he has also shown that he is innovative. Though known to keep a relatively low profile, his level of success is what every businessman aspires to. Here’s more information about the former CEO of Microsoft.
Steve Ballmer’s Biography
Steve Ballmer was born in Detroit on March 24, 1956, to Henry Ballmer, who was a manager at the Ford Motor Company, and Beatrice Dworkin. He lived a privileged young life, attending schools like the International School of Brussels. He was a smart student, graduating Valedictorian from Detroit Country Day School, a private school in Michigan and was also a National Merit Scholar. Ballmer went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard University with a B.A in applied mathematics and economics.
Outside his brilliance in academics, Steve Ballmer was a member of the Fox Club, a final club at Harvard University. He also was the manager for the Harvard Crimson Football team and worked on The Harvard Crimson newspaper and the Harvard Advocate as well. For two years, he was an assistant product manager at Procter & Gamble. In 1980, he joined Microsoft as a business manager.
His massive fortune started when he joined Microsoft on June 11, 1980, becoming Microsoft’s 30th employee and the first business manager to be hired by the CEO, Bill Gates. He was offered a percentage ownership of the company and in the company’s eventual incorporation in 1981, Ballmer owned 8% of it. Ballmer then went on to sell 39.3 million shares of his Microsoft stock in 2003, earning him a $955 million fortune.
Throughout his 20-year service at Microsoft, Steve Ballmer held several positions with various accomplishments. He led divisions such as operations, sales & support and operating systems development. He became Executive Vice President for Sales and Support in February 1992. One of Microsoft’s signature projects, .NET Framework was led by Steve Ballmer. From July 1998 to February 2001, he was the President of Microsoft and the second in command to Chairman and CEO, Bill Gates.
When Steve Ballmer became Chief Executive Officer in 2000, he oversaw what was described as a ‘dramatic shift away from the company’s PC-first heritage’. He was a major factor in driving the company’s connected computing strategy, with acquisitions like Skype, a move that was applauded by several publications.
Under his leadership, Microsoft’s financial success improved. The company’s revenue went from $25 billion to $70 billion and its gross profit doubled that of Google or IBM.
His diversification of Microsoft’s product line proved to be a masterstroke; the addition of Xbox entertainment and devices division has kept Sony’s Playstation and other gaming consoles from eroding Windows’ market share.
On August 23, 2013, it was announced that he would retire from the company. On February 4, 2014, after numerous candidates had been considered as a replacement, Satya Nadella succeeded Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft.
Away from technology, Steve Ballmer made several attempts at buying a sports team. He went after Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008 and the Sacramento Kings in 2012 but both attempts failed. However, after the Donald Sterling scandal in May 2014, he became the highest bidder for the purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers at $2 billion. On August 12, 2014, Steve Ballmer became the official owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Steve Ballmer is currently considered to be worth $42.7 billion dollars. After Roberto Goizueta, he became the second person in US history to become a billionaire entirely from stock options received as an employee of a corporation.
Wife – Connie Snyder, Family
In 1990, Steve Ballmer married Connie Snyder. Steve and his wife are ardent philanthropists, regularly donating to various charity programs and education. Connie is a known advocate for the wellbeing of children. She’s also an active contributor to several NGOs. The couple has three sons and the family presently resides in Hunts Point, Washington.
Relationship With Bill Gates
One key thing in his career was his relationship with Bill Gates. Having lived across the hall with Bill during his time at Harvard and being Gates’ first business manager hire, the two were believed to have a brotherly relationship. A relationship that continued throughout his rise in the company.
However, when Bill transferred authority to him in 2000, it was reported that there was some animosity between the two. According to a report by Vanity Fair in October 2014, it was reported that the pair no longer talked to each other.
Steve Ballmer – Height, Weight & Body Measurement
Steve Ballmer is 6 foot 5 inches. Presently, his weight and other details of his body measurements are not available. Besides his height, the tall billionaire is known for his energetic and exuberant personality.