Microsoft stock helps ex-CEO Steve Ballmer achieve $101 billion fortune

Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Steve Ballmer is a former Microsoft CEO.
  • His net worth just crossed $101 billion.
  • His heightened wealth comes in part due to Microsoft stock value gains.

Steve Ballmer, an ex-CEO of Microsoft, continues to reap rewards from the company's endeavors. Case in point: Thanks to a $20 billion boost in his net worth spurred by this year's Microsoft stock gains, Ballmer now has a $101 billion net worth according to Bloomberg (via Business Insider).

The gains in Microsoft's stock come as no surprise given how much the company has achieved in recent memory. Its Xbox division is firing on all cylinders with the best Xbox Game Pass games and the Xbox Series X, it's achieved success with U.S. government deals totaling in the double-digit billions, and of course, there's always Windows 11. The company's recent trajectory has been positive, and growing sectors such as cloud computing (where Azure comes in) seem primed to help it stay that way.

Recently, Microsoft hit the $2 trillion valuation mark for the first time. It is the second company to have managed this, second only to Apple, which achieved the feat back in August of 2020.

He is one of two former Microsoft CEOs on Bloomberg's wealthiest billionaires list, with Bill Gates being the other. Gates controls the fourth slot on the list while Ballmer occupies the ninth.

If you're new to the Microsoft enthusiast circuit, weren't around for the Ballmer days, and want some insight into who he is, check out the footage of him jumping into a lake in his underwear while Microsoft employees cheer him on. That should give you a better understanding of the ninth wealthiest man in the world.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to

  • Lovely human being. Really is. But what the hell. 😭😭😭
  • Well, to be fair he and Bill Gates were the most public faces for Microsoft. Plus their decisions (both good and bad) is what shaped Microsoft that we know today - a trillion dollar company.
  • Gates and Nadella deserve big paydays. Gates built the company with Allen. Nadella took it to the next level. Ballmer? Nice guy, really. But ... him? I guess we can thank him for Surface? Or just congratulate him on being smart about keeping his MS stock?
  • One thing you have to credit him with is pushing Office on other platforms other than Windows.
  • I think Ballmer probably deserves a lot of the credit for Gates initial success with Microsoft. Ballmer is NOT a visionary, but he is really good at execution and management processes. That teamed with Gates' vision allowed Microsoft to transform from a company providing a little bit of software to IBM (DOS) to the giant company it became.
  • This. People focus on the lone hero type of genius, but that alone doesn't get you far. Those who do the work, who make it work deserve praise. The Beatles wouldn't have made it without George Martin. Not like that.
  • If he accepted Android offer for Lumia then the history of Windows would better.
  • Developers, Developers, Developers!
  • It's like a Cadillac door!!!
  • But he's too stingy to get Kawhi Leonard a bionic knee?
  • This is why capitalists are bad people they make all this money doing nothing. While Millions starve and have no home or no medicine. And they work infinitely harder than any rich person does
  • You're making many assumptions here. Many rich people spent their entire lives getting to where they are. And honestly, I can think of no other form of economy that bring so much innovation that helps the world more than capitalism. It's been proven time and time again. That under capitalism the rich get richer and on average the poor get richer as well.
  • Nope. no one does so much important work every day by them self's void of human civilization present and past. There is no such thing as a good rich person. They steal it and get rich how you ask. wage theft. Private property and copyrights.
    And the profit motivation does not create Innovation it just encourages you to do whatever it takes to make a lot of money and that doesn't mean good service or better products or innovation. it just means do water works to make more money.
    Which is why capitalism kills creativity art and expression.
    The basic research and development that is funded by the public sector. Civilization makes true innovation but then the rich take it and make a few tweaks here and there and then put copy royalty Rights all over and say it's ares no one else can touch it.
  • You absolutely sound jealous
  • Status quo comment
  • The poor do not get richer under capitalism, not at all. But to be honest none of the alternatives are any better then you look at things from a monetary perspective so... eh. Sure all the billionaires could probably solve literally every problem in the world by using their money to do it, but they won't so I feel like people that complain about it are wasting their breathe. There is also the fact that the vast majority of "wealth" isn't actually tangible. It doesn't exist. So while it's nice to say x person is worth y dollars their actual disposable income is generally much lower.
  • Not true at all. I've climbed my way up, as has my wife. Then after we met, we're doing even better. Next step, start our own business and go even higher. We were literally at a networth of -$200k when we met, and have completely turned it around. Capitalism works if you're willing to work for it.
  • I love a good anecdotal "it worked for me, therefore it works for everyone, period" story.
  • Never said it works for everyone, however it does show that the poor can get richer. Mostly by not making the same dumb mistakes that so many others continue to make. Yeah, I was massively in debt, but that debt wasn't consumer debt. I didn't drive a car I couldn't afford, I didn't own a house that was way too big for my needs. I didn't have kids that tie me down and stop me from working my butt off.
  • A single person is not "the poor". One big problem with capitalism is that it is predicated on the fact that (in theory) anyone can be successful but that the vast majority won't be, whether they try to or not. You want to start your own business? Great! What happens if everyone does that? Nothing good. We always need someone to clean the toilets.
  • Well I didn't mention one single person, and considering there are many similar stories I don't know what other proof you want.
  • Robert, you don't need to rely on anecdotes, you can use logic, history, or data. All 3 prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that capitalism is a massive force for good (on net; yes, like any freedom it can also allow for some bad, but that is a vanishingly small amount in comparison to the good it delivers). Logic: incentives work. If you reward innovation and value delivered, you will get more of it. Those innovations include everything from medicine to technology to travel to entertainment that makes human life better (by any rational metric) and add choice. If given a choice between two jobs, you will always take the one that is better for you (by however you define "better"). To attract good people and generate a profit, every employer must therefore offer similar or better benefits than its competitors or it will not get good people and will fail. The profit incentive therefore creates a virtual spiral of improvement at all levels. History: the most prosperous people are those in the most free, capitalist countries. Even in cases where they started poorer than their neighbors in authoritarian or socialist countries, like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Mexico has seen its per capita wealth rise and wealth at every quartile of the population (not just the rich) rapidly since NAFTA (corruption and drug cartels have been a significant negative effect, but even in spite of those, the average person is still wealthier now, than before free trade was expanded). Even in the worst cases typically associated with capitalism, cheap labor for making clothing, per the point above, the people taking those jobs, do so because as horrible as those conditions are, they're still BETTER than the alternatives (hence people taking those crappy Nike jobs). It's only by the standards of a wealthy first-world country that we find those conditions abhorrent. Oven time, competition for that cheap labor always eventually improves working conditions and wages. Data: Capitalist countries are wealthier and freer than authoritarian and socialist countries. China at first may appear to be a bit of an exception to this, but China effectively participates as a single entity in the capitalist system: internally, it oppresses its people and artificially keeps their wages down to ensure its labor rates remain attractive to companies in other countries, but internationally, it competes with and sells to capitalist nations, getting what we call in economics a "free rider" effect on the benefits of capitalism.
  • Capitalism is why poor countries become rich, and why the poorest people in dysfunctional but rich countries like the US are still richer than the poorest billions. Starvation and abject poverty have been dwindling worldwide for decades. Birth rates are falling. Education and access to clean water and health care are improving. The dystopia you imagine we live in is decades out of date if it ever existed. Instead of preaching ignorance, you can learn about the world. A good place to start is, which has illuminating statistics about the world presented clearly and accurately. As for the name of the website, the "gap" you are minding is your own ignorance.
  • Andrew, well said! Based on some of your other posts, I'm surprised to read that from you, but I'm 100% with you on this post.
  • Capitalism has done more good for more people in human history than any other system. I also suspect that Ballmer put in more hours than almost any of the rest of us. In the past, during crunch times at startup companies I've been with, I've regularly worked over 100 hour weeks (not now, or I wouldn't have time to post here), and I bet Ballmer outdid me regularly. Hard work doesn't always equal success, but at least under capitalism you are more likely to be rewarded for hard work than under any other system. The only thing more important than hard work in capitalism is actual value delivered -- so if you can innovate a way to do more with less work, you'll be even more richly rewarded. And those incentives are the very reason that most human advances have occurred under capitalism. Innovators and value creators are richly rewarded, which means we get more innovation and value. In contrast, socialism and other systems don't reward anything, except either relationship to the leaders or the ability to persuade the government that you are a victim, neither of which does anything to advance the state of humanity.
  • Well, good for him, he worked his ass off for a long time in that company.