Speakers Series: Steve Ballmer
CEO of Microsoft Corporation
June 16, 2004
Overview | Biography |
Steve Ballmer is chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp. Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 and was the first business manager hired by Bill Gates. Since then, Ballmer's passion and leadership have become hallmarks of his tenure at the company.
During the past 20 years, Ballmer has headed several Microsoft divisions, including operations, operating systems development, and sales and support. In July 1998, he was promoted to president, a role that gave him day-to-day responsibility for running Microsoft. He was named CEO in January 2000, assuming full management responsibility for the company, including delivering on the company's vision of "empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device."
Ballmer is presently leading the most comprehensive reinvention of Microsoft in the company's 25 years. Together with Gates and the company's other technical leaders, Ballmer will lead Microsoft's development of a revolutionary Microsoft .NET platform for desktop personal computers, servers, non-PC devices and the Internet. Microsoft's goal is to provide the platform to enable a seamless experience across different computing devices, software services and data sources, putting a unified face on a wide variety of digital interactions. Ballmer says, "I want everyone to share my passion for our products and services. I want people to understand the amazing, positive way our software can make leisure time more enjoyable, and work and businesses more successful."
Ballmer, born in March 1956, grew up near Detroit, where his father worked as a manager at Ford Motor Co. He graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and economics. While in college, Ballmer managed the football team, worked on the Harvard Crimson newspaper as well as the university literary magazine and roomed down the hall from fellow sophomore Gates. After college, he worked for two years at Procter & Gamble Co. as an assistant product manager and, before joining Microsoft, attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Ballmer jogs daily and loves basketball.