Steve Ballmer

Rank 10

Steve Ballmer



Hunts Point, Washington

United States

  • Ballmer and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates were classmates at Harvard.
  • Ballmer created a website called for people to look up and understand where the government is spending money.
  • Steve Ballmer is the high-wattage former CEO of Microsoft, who led the company from 2000 to 2014.
  • He joined Microsoft in 1980 as employee No. 30 after dropping out of Stanford's MBA program.
  • Ballmer ran Microsoft as CEO after the first dot-com crash and through efforts to catch up to Google in search capabilities and Apple in mobile phones.
  • In 2014, the year he retired from Microsoft, he bought the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion; Forbes now values the team at $4.65 billion.
  • He has ramped up his philanthropy since 2014, putting over $2 billion into a donor-advised fund, with a focus on economic mobility; to date the Ballmers have given away nearly $3.5 billion.
  • In 2022, he and his wife Connie donated some $425 million to the University of Oregon to create an institute aimed at the behavioral and mental health needs of children in the state.