Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is now richer than founder Bill Gates

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has overtaken Bill Gates on the list of the world’s richest people – the first time the company co-founder’s fortune has been eclipsed by one of his former fortunes.

Ballmer, the boisterous owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers who succeeded Gates as CEO of Microsoft in 2000, climbed to sixth place on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which estimated his net worth at $157.2 billion.

Gates, who has stepped down from corporate boards and focused on philanthropic efforts, has an estimated net worth of $156.7 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO and current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, has a net worth of $157 billion, according to Bloomberg. Getty Images

The 68-year-old Gates’ fortune has taken a hit in part from his divorce, as well as pouring billions of dollars into building the $75 billion Gates Foundation, one of the world’s largest charities, the newspaper noted.

Ballmer, meanwhile, has seen his net worth rise as Microsoft capitalizes on the artificial intelligence crowdfunding that has made it the world’s most valuable company, with a $3.3 trillion market cap.

He is Microsoft’s largest shareholder – owning about 333.25 million shares – or about 4% – of the company.

While 90% of Ballmer’s wealth is tied to his Microsoft stake, his other major asset is the Clippers, which are valued at around $4.5 billion.

Gates is the second largest shareholder of Microsoft stock with 102.99 million shares, according to SEC filings.

As of Monday, Ballmer’s net worth was higher than that of his former boss, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Getty Images

He derives about half of his wealth from his holding company, Cascade Investment, which owns stakes in several firms spanning a range of industries including hospitality, agriculture, waste management, retail, car dealerships and food.

Last month, Gates was in Wyoming to break ground on a nuclear power plant to be built by his energy company, TerraPower.

In 2021, he divorced his wife of 27 years, Melinda French Gates. At the time the divorce papers were filed, Bill Gates had a net worth of $130 billion.

The couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement before they got married. Terms of the divorce settlement were not disclosed.

In May, French Gates announced that she would be stepping down as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates and Ballmer are seen above at a Microsoft event in 2006. Via BLOOMBERG NEWS

As part of French Gates’ philanthropic split, she received $12.5 billion from her ex-husband, which she plans to use for her philanthropic efforts.

The pair divorced following reports of the former’s cheating, as well as his highly publicized friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

In 2021, Gates divorced his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates (seen above). Reuters
Earlier this year, Melinda French Gates resigned as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Reuters

Gates co-founded Microsoft with the late Paul Allen in 1975. He hired Ballmer, his Harvard classmate, five years later, becoming the company’s 30th employee and first business manager.

In the past 12 months, the software giant’s share price has risen nearly 35% — outperforming the S&P 500 and its 23% gain over the past year.

Under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has positioned itself as a leader in cloud computing, as well as the integration of artificial intelligence systems into its product suite.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top