Steve Ballmer

Practicing the dynamic vision for Microsoft for more than 20 years

What kind of leader does it take to be CEO of the preeminent software manufacturer in the world? Maybe the leader and the leading software have a few things in common. It has been said that Microsoft software and operating systems are cutting edge, revolutionary, radical, and forward thinking. Those same things, and more, could be said about Steven A. Ballmer. Without question, personal computers and their far-reaching abilities changed the world forever. Ballmer, over the past 20 years, has been instrumental in the development and distribution of this life- altering technology.

Ballmer is perhaps as famous for his tech savvy leadership as he is for his zany stage entrances to open conferences and speaking engagements. One of his enduring qualities is his ability to convey his infectious passion for all things Microsoft to anyone who will listen. His enthusiasm inspires devoted adherents to the Microsoft corporate philosophy.

A product of the auto industry, Ballmer grew up near Detroit where his father worked as a manager for Ford Motor Company. His undergrad years at Harvard included managing the football team, as well as working on the Harvard Crimson newspaper, while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics. It was at Harvard that Ballmer met lifelong friend, Bill Gates.

Over the past 20 years, Ballmer has been in charge of operations, operating systems development, and sales and support. In 1998 he was promoted to President giving him day-to-day management responsibilities. He became CEO in January 2000, making him accountable for fulfilling the Microsoft quest of empowering people and business to realize their dreams. It was his ability to visualize what the future would look like and how Microsoft products and service would blaze the trail that made him the most likely and logical choice for CEO. He is tasked with delivering on the company’s mission of enabling people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.

Together with Gates and the company’s other business and technical leaders, Ballmer is focused on continuing Microsoft’s innovation and leadership across the company’s seven businesses. Ballmer recently said we think it’s important for you to understand and appreciate that successful businesses succeed based upon the quality and performance of their people . To that end, he is championing product development that will encourage collaborative efforts that span nations, cultures, economies, and everyday people.

While Microsoft is noteworthy for leading the world into the 21st century, Ballmer understands that products and services require end users. When we think about innovations that we bring to market for our business customers, we think our innovations have to facilitate the empowerment of people and people-ready businesses in exactly this way. These kinds of successful companies, I would call people ready businesses, businesses that really believe and act fundamentally with deep conviction that people are their number one asset. The heart and soul of business that is people ready is also a business that employing IT, information technology innovation, as tools to really help empower their number one asset, their people. 

Steven A. Ballmer has the dynamic vision to recognize how technology is meant to facilitate opportunities, and how to bring that technology to the marketplace.

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