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From Assistant To Billionaire: Steve Ballmer Surpasses Bill Gates In Wealth

By Eric George


Reviewed by: Eric George


Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates

The world’s richest person is a piece of honor that the whole world looks up to. Bill Gates was the wealthiest person for many years, but it has come as a surprise that Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft has now emerged wealthier than his former boss Bill Gates.

Steve Ballmer’s journey from an ordinary employee of Microsoft to its CEO and consequently, the richest shareholder of the company is worth analysis.

As per the latest data about the richest people on earth, Steve Ballmer is now ranked as the sixth richest person in the world with a net worth of $157 billion.

Steve has reached this rank after surpassing many other CEOs and heads of well-known companies such as Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin, Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, Michael Dell, the CEO of Dell Technologies, etc.

The most interesting fact about Steve Ballmer is that he became rich by just being an employee of Microsoft, which is a rare event in history; usually, the founders of the companies emerge as wealthy.

When he resigned from Microsoft as its CEO in 2014, the value of his shares was $22.5 billion. It is from that figure that the value of his holdings has reached $157 billion, due to the rising supremacy of the company in the technological world.

Steve Ballmer

How Did Ballmer Become the Company’s Shareholder?

When Steve Ballmer joined as an employee of Microsoft in 1980, he did not own a single share in the company. The only earnings that he had at that time were his salary worth $50,000.

As the company began to earn huge profits, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the cofounders of Microsoft, agreed to give Ballmer 10% of the company’s annual profit in return for his contributions.

As the value of the company’s share increased, it no longer became profitable to give away 10% of its profit to a single employee. However, Ballmer still managed to get 8% of the annual profit in his name.

While Bill Gates has redistributed a major share of his wealth for philanthropy through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other public ventures, Ballmer still holds his shares, which he said he will continue to hold till his death or till he gives it away to others as a gift.

The Effect of this News on Microsoft’s Shares

This event of unprecedented proportions has resulted in a spike in the shares of Microsoft. The 22% increase in the shares of Microsoft owes to the fact that almost 90% of the shares held by Ballmer are that of Microsoft.

The major reason for this spike in the value of Microsoft’s shares is the company’s investment in the artificial intelligence sector. This decision has helped its shareholders by skyrocketing the value of the shares.

More About Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer, the former personal assistant of Bill Gates, reached the top of his company and served as its CEO from 2000 to 2014.

He was employed by Bill Gates soon after he completed his Masters in Business Administration from the prestigious Stanford University.

From an ordinary employee, Ballmer grew to become the President of Microsoft Corporation in 1998, before becoming its CEO in 2000.

Steve Ballmer’s stint as the CEO of Microsoft was a time of growth for the company. He was a major contributor to streamlining the company’s daily operations and made the handling of company finances an easy affair.

In 2006, he was given more authority to make technological innovations in the company as Bill Gates relinquished his position as the chief technological decision-maker of the company.

Balmer’s stint as Microsoft’s head was not devoid of criticisms. He was criticized for not leveraging new technologies at the earliest.

He was even pronounced as the worst CEO of a company due to his cold approach to technology adoption. He was also criticized for not being able to make Microsoft at par with other technological companies such as Apple and Google.

Also, Read: 10 Richest People In Britain: Money Magnates!

The Bottom Line

Steve Ballmer’s life from an assistant to a billionaire, is the greatest example of the heights that a person can trade despite their humble beginnings.

His life and mode of business are indeed a great inspiration for anyone who plans to make it big in their career.

Eric George

Eric George, a retired journalist, focused primarily on market research and current tech trends. With a career spanning news media, he made significant contributions to understanding the intersection of technology and finance. Today, he continues to engage with these topics in various capacities

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