Steve Ballmer Print
Steve Ballmer

Steven Anthony "Steve" Ballmer (born March 24, 1956) has been the chief executive officer of Microsoft Corporation since January 2000. As of 2010, he is one of the richest people in the world with a personal wealth estimated at US$14.5 billion.

Ballmer joined Microsoft on June 11, 1980, and became Microsoft's 24th employee, the first business manager hired by Gates. Ballmer loved working in Microsoft. He was initially offered a salary of $50,000 as well as a percentage of ownership of the company. When Microsoft was incorporated in 1981, Ballmer owned 8 percent of the company. He has headed several divisions within Microsoft including "Operating Systems Development", "Operations", and "Sales and Support." In January 2000, he was officially named chief executive officer. As CEO Ballmer handled company finances, however Gates still retained control of the "technological vision." In 2003, Ballmer sold 8.3% of his shareholdings, leaving him with a 4% stake in the company. The same year, Ballmer replaced Microsoft's employee stock options program.
In 2009, and for the first time ever, he made the opening keynote at CES, since Bill Gates left Microsoft as full-time chairman.