Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer was once Bill Gates’ assistant, now he’s the 6th richest person in the world. Here are his 5 tips for success

The past Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer turns 68 today, and the sixth richest man in the world has a lot to celebrate.

With an amount of 148 billion dollars, according to a Bloomberg Billionaires IndexBallmer is now just shy of surpassing his former boss, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is worth $154 billion.

A look back at Ballmer’s illustrious career reveals the secrets to his success, but it wasn’t always pretty. At the age of 24, Ballmer dropped out of Stanford Business School to join Microsoft and Gates, a former Harvard friend. As the company’s 30th employee, Ballmer earned the starting salary $50,000.

The small tech startup became the fastest growing company in America, surpassing its predecessor apple and dominated the growth of personal computers in the 1990s by creating Windows, an easy-to-use operating system. Ballmer replaced Gates during a crucial transition, in 2000, overseeing the effects of a celebrity. antitrust case which began in 1998, and the aftermath of the dot-com crash and the emergence of risk. competition from new and old competitors: Google and Apple.

Ballmer tripled Microsoft’s annual revenue to nearly $78 billion during his tenure, and profits rose to $22 billion in his final year as CEO, but the stock did not reflect his dominance. Remembering, Ballmer set the stage for a remarkable comeback in later decades. Microsoft is now ranked 13th on fortune 500, while its market capitalization has surpassed all others: It is the most valuable company in the world, at $3.2 trillion.

Ballmer still has an idea 4.5% share in Microsoft, and has seen his value grow, following his successor Satya Nadella bet on OpenAI. In 2021, Ballmer became the leader the ninth person in the world to explain the amount of 100 billion dollars, and Ballmer is the only centibillionaire earning his wealth as a servantnot as an entrepreneur.

After thanking the staff for “the time of my life” in farewell thoughts In 2014, Ballmer turned his attention to other business ventures. That same year, he he bought it NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers worth $2 billion (Forbes now good manners a total of $4.5 billion).

Since leaving Microsoft, Ballmer has leaned heavily on philanthropy. He donated nearly $2 billion to a Goldman Sachs Philanthropy fund supported by donors focused on financial management in 2018. Recently, they invested $ 400 million support black businesses in 2022; $43 million in early childhood education in Washington State last March; and last September announced a $175 million in revenue over the next seven years, the goal was to help 4 million young people, especially in communities of color facing systemic inequality, on the road to economic prosperity.

One of his last interviews as CEO of Microsoft in 2013, Ballmer sat down and Chance to share some of his top tips for success.

  1. Look at the big picture

“If the CEO doesn’t see what’s going on, no one will,” Ballmer said in a 2013 interview. Chance. “The team may also need to see, but the CEO really needs to see the whole race.”

Microsoft’s various products, such as cloud services and computing, cover many markets and competition seems to revolve around all sides. During his tenure as CEO, he met opposition due to not changing quickly to changing market conditions. Competitors on mobile devices, such as Samsung and Nokia, and cloud computing services, such as Google and Apple, were on the rise. Microsoft stock was standing in the years leading up to his career in 2014. However, Microsoft’s money almost four times under his watch.

  1. Always look for talent

While at Microsoft, Ballmer hired some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley, such as Steven Sinofsky, which preceded Windows; J Allard, who served as Xbox’s chief technology officer; and Ray OzzieSenior software developer for Microsoft.

In 2009 interview and Wall Street JournalBallmer said that in order to “stay strong,” companies should promote internal employees “70% or 80% of the time,” and when a company wants to outsource, it should be “open” and ask. for references.

In interviews with potential new recruits, the two main qualities they look for are the passion they “see in the eyes,” and the person they can relate to. One of the most common questions they ask is “tell me about something you’re proud of.”

  1. Always think again—that’s how you’ll find the most successful business strategy

At Microsoft, the name of Ballmer’s game was rethink, rethink, rethink.

“There was a day when people said that all the money was in software; come out to the hardware,” he said Chance in 2013. Hardware is what Apple and Samsung, rivals of Microsoft at the time, were also profitable. In 2013, Apple. recorded 170.9 billion in cash. Google recorded $55.5 billion. “Then someone will say, ‘Oh, it’s all advertising,'” which is what its rival, Google, was banking on.

“The game is always changing,” he said, and his sentiments hold true for what he’s doing on the basketball court.

A decade after buying the Clippers, Ballmer is still thinking creatively about how to do it Franchise renewal. He has been signing—and keeping—stars like It’s Leonard, Paul Georgeand Russell Westbrook forming a quartet of stars in preparation Information House great opening in August, Forbes reportThe future home ground of the team and the direction of the 2026 NBA All-Star week.

This month, he he introduced a new type, Halo Games and Entertainmentwhich will have a new dome, LA Clippers, theirs The G-league team called the Ontario Clippers, and KIA Forummusic and entertainment venue in Inglewood, which he It was purchased in 2020.

  1. Plan for the long and long term

“Fixing the big things that make all the money, it’s a long time,” Ballmer said Chance in 2013, I emphasize that “acting in a way that allows you to act, is easy.”

One of the longest running projects USAFacts, a database that collects and analyzes how federal, state and local governments make and spend money. The database also includes reports that users can run to gather information on topics ranging from taxes to overdose rates and crime across the country.

The site calls itself “nonpartisan, non-profit,” with no “political or commercial agenda.”

  1. Know when you are failing

“I obviously understand business more than technology,” Ballmer concluded in a 2013 interview, but added, “I’ve grown up, and as you get older, you say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know what I wasn’t.'” I don’t know.’”

One theory of comedy about its weaknesses has arrived: it’s what Urban Dictionary calls it Ballmer Peak, or “the theory that computer programmers gain the ability to write like magic if they have a blood alcohol concentration between 0.129% and 0.138%.” The idea is loosely attached to Ballmer—but it has inspired the San Francisco organization, Introductionto fix a Ballmer Peak-A-Thon: an open wound event where people have “5 hours to find Ballmer’s tip, and make a great business.” Bar offers “many sill domain names” to get the party started.

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