Steve Ballmer Facts


Steve Ballmer Facts – #50

Steve Ballmer Facts - Biography

Steve Ballmer Facts – Biography

Wonder Years of Steve Ballmer

1. Spends Childhood in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Steve Ballmer grows up in a wealthy neighborhood in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

The city ranks as the safest city in the U.S., a large feat for any city to accomplish.

The city is known as “The City of the Future, Today”.

2. Steve Ballmer is known as an Overachiever From Young Age

From a young age, Ballmer is known as an overachiever, not only in academia but also in extracurricular.

He secures a 4.0 GPA; he is the captain of the basketball team and is an active member of the football and track teams.

Persistence being his top quality, Ballmer manages to maintain these records right up to his Bachelors at Harvard University.

3. The Most Active and Competitive Student

Ballmer grows up with his sister in Detroit.

When they both attend school, Ballmer has been always the most active student in class and not to mention, the most competitive!

This same personality is seen in the way he runs Microsoft.

4. Graduates from Harvard

Truly a math wizard, Ballmer scores a perfect score of 800 on the mathematics section of the SAT, which he writes after graduating from a private college preparatory school.

He graduates from Harvard University with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics.

5. Is Not Only a Math Geek but Manager of Football Team at Harvard

Ballmer is not just a math geek.

He plays football at Harvard and is manager of the team, and he also writes for The Harvard Crimson newspaper and the Harvard Advocate.

He lives in the same dorm as Bill Gates, who is also a sophomore at the time and the two play poker together.

6. Joins Procter and Gamble after Graduation

Before Ballmer joins Microsoft, he works in a number of places to put years of education to use.

At first, he spends two years at Procter and Gamble working as an assistant product manager for marketing various consumer goods.

However, this job and its requirements don’t satisfy Ballmer and soon he applies to Stanford Graduate Business School for a postgraduate program.

When an offer from Microsoft comes along, Ballmer drops out and joins the company full time.

Steve Ballmer & Microsoft

7. Steve Ballmer Joins Microsoft in 1980

When Steve joins Microsoft in 1980, he is Microsoft’s 30th employee.

He becomes CEO in 2000, after loyally working with the company for 20 years.

During his time as a CEO, Microsoft’s revenue has increased significantly from US$ 25 billion to US$ 70 billion, with a 215% net income increase of US$ 23 billion.

8. Steve Ballmer Introduces Windows as a GUI for MS-DOS

Among his circle, Ballmer is known for not only excelling what he puts his mind into but also for facing competition in the best way possible.

Back in the 1980s when the company’s MS-DOS is under threat by Apple’s GUI, Ballmer takes the most important step of introducing Windows as a GUI for MS-DOS.

This makes sure that Microsoft keeps its leadership position in the market.

9. Steve Ballmer: First Manager to be Hired by Bill Gates

Ballmer is the first manager hired by Bill Gates.

At first, all Ballmer wants is a chance for a summer internship but Gates offers him a full time job instead.

Though there is no doubt about his abilities as a skillful employee, Ballmer makes his way to the top with relentless effort and hard work.

10. Leads Microsoft to New Heights after Gates

For Ballmer, the spirited man that he is, running Microsoft has been a game of risks and riches.

From running the sales division to the operating systems development wing, his personality and his gut have been the most important for him in making decisions.

No doubt, once Gates has resigned, Ballmer has led the company to newer heights single-handedly.

11. Ballmer’s Efforts Result in Growth of 16.4% for Microsoft

Before Bill Gates retires and Ballmer has the power to induce major changes in the organization, Microsoft is on the verge of being considered ‘old’ and rightly so because it has a ‘PC-first heritage’ in an era where tablets and laptops are the rage.

No wonder, he has been able to initiate a swift growth of 16.4% in Microsoft over these years.

12. Ballmer Gives Microsoft Direction

Ballmer knows the importance of strong leadership in an organization.

As soon as he is promoted to the post of CEO, he makes the Microsoft Business Leadership Team, which is a group of 12 people who solely discuss the strategic direction that the company is to take, giving it a vision and a mission.

13. Microsoft Introduces its New Tablet Device

During his reign as CEO, Ballmer has received much criticism regarding his method of managing the company.

Many complain that he does not devote enough of the company’s efforts on joining the fast-paced advancements of popular technologies such as handsets and tablets.

In June 2012, Microsoft introduces its new tablet device, Microsoft Surface, which receives mixed reviews.

14. Success of Office 365 Home Premium

The recent launch of Microsoft’s latest program, Office 365 Home Premium, has sparked an increase of interest in the company, which has been going through some tough times at the end of 2012.

The latest version of Office has all the features people have been using for many years now and much more.

It is offered in 162 markets and in 21 languages, and can be used on up to 5 different devices.

15. Ballmer’s Efforts Result in Innovative Launches of Useful Programs

Even though Ballmer is not the founder of the company, his loyalty and passion for it are still unfailing.

At every step of the way, he makes sure Microsoft is not only abreast with new trends and changes, but also ahead of competition.

His intuition and strength of ideas can be seen in the innovative launches of Windows NT, Windows 95, the browser Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office that has a 90% market share by 2004.

16. Introduces Stock Option Plans in Microsoft

Right from the beginning of his Microsoft career, Ballmer puts his wit to work.

Not only is he the clever mind behind hiring some of the best talent in Seattle, he also introduces stock option plans to make sure employees are loyal to the organization! No wonder, Gates leaves all the business handling for him.

17. Ballmer Decentralizes Microsoft

With Ballmer’s presence and promotion as CEO, a giant such as Microsoft finally gets some vision for the future.

Not only does he start reorganizing every division, Ballmer also decentralizes the company immensely, which is why it becomes one of the most innovative organizations of all time.

18. Microsoft’s Success in Ballmer’s Words

For Ballmer, nothing is more important than the bottom line and how well he can motivate his people to achieve it.

The genius of his mind is reflected by his instant and succinct summary of Microsoft’s progress in these words, “We’ve grown from 18% of the profits of the top 25 companies in our industry to 23% of the profits of the top 25 companies in our industry over the last five years.

Profits are up over 70%, where the industry profit is up about 35%. Pretty good.”

19. Microsoft Faces Heavy Competition in the IT Industry

No doubt, in this high tech age, Microsoft faces a lot of competition from major players in the IT industry.

Ballmer is holding his ground and hinging his success on Windows 8 to hit it off in the market.

Fingers crossed for Ballmer!

20. Is Not Prepared to Leave Microsoft for another Few Years

For those who are awaiting Ballmer’s resignation from Microsoft, they will have to wait a few more years.

Steve says that he is not prepared to leave Microsoft until his youngest son begins college in 2017.

What would you expect when he’s earning US$ 1.35 million a year?

21. Why Ballmer Refuses to Quit Microsoft

Why does he refuse to quit? Well, we won’t know the answer to that till Ballmer spills the beans himself; however, after leading several divisions of the company over the course of 2 decades, Ballmer is familiar with them inside out.

He is an asset to the seamless running of Microsoft’s seven businesses and each division within those businesses.

22. Steve’s Loyalty and Passion for Microsoft

He has been a dramatic person even in his early days with Microsoft.

At a meeting in Japan in 1991, he is recorded screaming “Windows!” with such force that he injures his vocal cords.

For some, this shows his loyalty and passion for the company he has been committed to since 1980.

23. The Wall Street Refusal to Recognize Microsoft for its Profits

Apart from some criticism that Ballmer has faced because of his business ideology, the Wall Street refuses to recognize Microsoft for the profits that the company has managed to earn.

The fault, they say, is on Ballmer’s shoulder, who has failed to make the company enter newer markets like its competitors.

Family of Steve Ballmer

24. Parents

Steve Ballmer comes from a mixed family background.

His father is Swiss and his mother’s family comes from Eastern Europe from a city, which is now in Belarus, where his parents currently reside.

In 2007, Ballmer receives an honorary citizenship from Lausen, Switzerland.

25. Steve Marries Connie Snyder

In 1990, he marries Connie Snyder and the two have been happily married for over 12 years now.

They have 3 intelligent boys.

Ballmer enjoys taking his wife with him to important events.

In 2011, he brings her with him to a dinner at the White House that is held in honor of China’s President.

Steve Ballmer: Personality

26. Known for His Loud and Energetic Personality

Ballmer is known for his loud and energetic personality.

This can sometimes be an asset to Ballmer as it helps motivate his employees and has done so on stage on many occasions.

However, his rather vigorous way of speaking sometimes lands him in trouble when paired with his anger.

He is also known for yelling at fellow colleague, Bill Gates.

27. Loves Being the Center of Attention

Ballmer’s charisma and enthusiasm are contagious.

He loves being the center of attention, and does not shy away from stage appearances.

On Microsoft’s 25th anniversary, he surprises party goers by appearing suddenly out of a large cake.

28. Ballmer is a Workaholic

Ballmer is undoubtedly a workaholic.

He has managed to decrease his 100-hour weeks to around 60 hours a week.

He states that he has made the change so that he can spend more time with his family.

He also likes to spend time jogging and playing golf.

29. Ballmer is a Farsighted Businessman

Ballmer is a farsighted businessman.

Because of the intense competition in the IT market, Ballmer makes the move to rearrange Microsoft’s product line up.

However, before he can do so, he has to replace many division heads whom he thinks are “talent-hoarding fiefdoms.”

After the change movement at the company, it has the best product lineup in its history as cited by BusinessWeek.

30. Ballmer Has a Dominating Personality

Due to his dominating personality, Ballmer has received a lot of criticism from experts and observers.

According to a few, he has hindered further growth that the company can have sustained.

Ballmer is steadfast and continues to provide unwavering leadership to the company.

31. Ballmer is a Man of Surprises

Ballmer is a man of surprises.

He knows how to deal with competition by placing his beloved organization as no second in the eyes of the audience! As an answer to the question, ‘Apple and Google have very clear missions, what is the vision for your company?’ Ballmer replies very diplomatically, ‘This question quintessentially is a question of attitude.

So, in this context tell me what Google and Apple stand for, and I’ll give you the equivalent!’

Personal Interests of Steve Ballmer

32. A Die Hard Basketball Fan

Ballmer is a die-hard basketball fan, which explains his addiction to the game all throughout high school and college.

He is seen cheering the Detroit Pistons a number of times.

33. Interest in Video Games

Steve Ballmer, even at the age of 54, has an interest in video games.

When asked what his favorite Xbox game is, he is not ashamed to answer.

With a smile, he says that his favorite Xbox video game has to be Beach Volleyball.

Accolades: Steve Ballmer

34. Appears in Time Magazine’s List of 25 Most Influential People

Because of his extreme devotion to the company and his staunch belief in its success, Bellmore makes it to Time Magazine’s List of 25 Most Influential People in 2008.

Being a huge name in the IT industry, Steve’s success as a worldwide inspiration is definitely a milestone.

35. Ranks 19 on the Forbes list of 400 Richest Americans

Steve Ballmer sure isn’t getting tired of Microsoft.

The CEO of Microsoft has been the company head since 2000.

He ranks 19 on the Forbes list of 400 Richest Americans, with a net worth of US$ 15.7 billion in 2012.

36. The Second American to Become a Billionaire

Because of his hard work at Microsoft and the immense recognition that the company gives him, Ballmer ranks as the second American to become a billionaire owing to stock options of an organization.

He is second to Roberto Goizueta on this list.

In 2009 alone, his salary comprises of a basic $665,833, a cash bonus of $600,000 and other compensations for $10,794.

Other Facts about Steve Ballmer

37. Tension between Gates and Ballmer

Though the two have worked together with Microsoft for some time, there is tension between Gates and Ballmer.

In a meeting the two are having, Gates and Ballmer argue and yell at each other.

Gates leaves the meeting in an angry state.

Ballmer is heard to have said regarding Gates, “I’m not going to need him for anything… use him, yes, need him, no.”

38. Criticizes His Competitor, Apple

Ballmer is very critical of Microsoft’s competitor, Apple.

He criticizes the company’s price list, saying it is too expensive for the average person.

Ballmer says most people can afford around $500 dollars for a computer, but will not be able to step up and add another $500 more “to get a logo on it”.

39. Famous Videos of Ballmer

Ballmer is not only famous in the business and IT world, but also with viral videos.

Some popular videos of Ballmer include one known as the “Dancing Monkey Boy” in which he jumps around the stage, screaming.

Another video has an emotional Ballmer chanting “developers” again and again.

40. Owns an 80-inch Windows 8 Tablet

Ballmer sure knows how to enjoy the perks of being a Microsoft CEO.

He owns an 80-inch Windows 8 tablet that he has hanging on his office wall.

The large tablet screen has replaced his need for a phone, and he takes all notes using the touch screen tablet.

41. Has Faced Public Ridicule

Ballmer has had his share of public ridicule, but as always, he makes nothing of it.

In a 2008 visit to the Hungarian University of Economy in Hungary, Budapest, Ballmer is reportedly attacked by a graduate student who throws eggs at him.

42. Impersonation of Ballmer in a Documentary, ‘Pirates of Silicon Valley’-1999

Notoriously known as ‘Bad Boy Ballmer’, this ambitious Microsoft CEO has also made it into mainstream media.

The documentary, ‘Pirates of Silicon Valley’, which is featured in 1999, is definitely incomplete without John DiMaggio’s impersonation of Ballmer!

43. Injures his Vocal Cords

Steve Ballmer has paid his price for being the loud and boisterous man that he is! At a conference, the CEO ends up injuring his vocal cords after he yells his way through his speech.

What a great way to get behind the podium!

44. Rumor of Ballmer’s Retirement

Ballmer has no plans to retire, rumor has it that his investment in the Sacramento Kings (a basketball team) is part of his retirement plan.

He is aiming to move this team to Seattle by injecting a solid $490 million in its revival.

45. Ballmer’s Failure to Take Advantage of ‘Cell Phone Buzz’

The majority of this criticism is because industry observers feel Ballmer has failed to take advantage of the ‘cell phone buzz.’

None of the windows panes have been hits like Apple devices and this is something the CEO should have battled fiercely instead of denying completely.


46. Ballmer’s Success Stories Resembles Other Inspirational Men

The recognition and success Microsoft has faced in Ballmer’s hands is unparalleled to any other.

According to surveys, Ballmer’s CEO tenure at the company has outlined the success stories of inspirational men like Jack Welch of General Electric and Lois V Gerstner of IBM.

47. Ballmer’s Involvement in Social Uplift

Ballmer’s involvement in social uplift and advancement projects has been notable.

In 2012, he is a major investor in a move to bring back the Seattle Supersonics after rebuilding a brand new arena for sports and entertainment in the city.

48. Money isn’t the True Goal For Ballmer

When Microsoft becomes a public company in 1986, the IPO makes Ballmer and Gates billionaires overnight.

However, for a strong and motivational leader money isn’t the true goal.

Same is the case with Ballmer who wants to see Microsoft at the top of the IT industry.

Therefore, even now after his 20 year tenure as CEO, he works more hours a week than most executives of high tech companies do!

49. Ballmer Takes Advantage of Opportunities

If Ballmer is given no credit for where Microsoft is, one has to credit him with optimism and a sense of purpose.

In his own words, he describes the hunger that drives him to cease a business opportunity and then turn it into gold.

“I’m very, very bullish about our prospects, and as I tell our board, as I tell our employees, this is the time to invest.

There’s so much opportunity.

Let’s just invest in that opportunity, and really get after it.”

50. Ballmer’s Way of Motivating Employees Is Unlike Any Other Leader

Despite criticism, Ballmer’s business sense and his way to motivate his employees is unlike any other leader.

His flamboyant and almost ‘rowdy’ style of talking to people has become a trademark of his!

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