From Bill Gates Assistant to Billionaire: Steve Ballmer's Rise to the top

Early Life and Education

Ballmer attended Harvard University, where he majored in applied mathematics and economics. During his time at Harvard, he was a manager for the football team and worked on the school newspaper.

Joining Microsoft

In 1980, Ballmer left Stanford's MBA program to join Microsoft as the first business manager. He was hired by Gates as a business manager, marking the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration.

Climbing the Rank

He played a critical role in several key projects and initiatives, such as the development of the operating systems and the Office suite of applications, which became major revenue drivers for Microsoft.

Becoming CEO

Known for his energetic and passionate leadership style, Ballmer was both praised and criticized for his management approach. He was particularly known for his enthusiasm and loud, boisterous presentations.

Achievements and Challenge

Despite successes, Ballmer's tenure also faced criticism for missing out on key tech trends like mobile computing and search engines. The failure of the Windows Phone and the costly acquisition of Nokia were significant setbacks.