Top 9

Steve Ballmer

Owner, Los Angeles Clippers


Steve Ballmer, the dynamic former CEO of Microsoft, left an indelible mark on the technology industry during his tenure from 2000 to 2014. Joining Microsoft as its 30th employee in 1980, Ballmer made his mark on the company's trajectory after dropping out of Stanford's MBA program.

As CEO, Ballmer navigated Microsoft through challenging times, including the aftermath of the dot-com crash and fierce competition from tech giants like Google and Apple. Under his leadership, Microsoft ventured into new markets, including search engines with the launch of Bing in 2009 and the acquisition of Skype in 2011 for a record-breaking $8.5 billion.

In a surprising move, Ballmer retired from Microsoft in 2014 to pursue his passion for sports, acquiring the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. His philanthropic endeavors also gained momentum, with over $2 billion contributed to a donor-advised fund focusing on economic mobility.

Continuing his philanthropic efforts, Ballmer and his wife Connie made a transformative $425 million donation to the University of Oregon in 2022, establishing an institute dedicated to addressing the behavioral and mental health needs of children in the state.

Throughout his career, Ballmer's visionary leadership and commitment to innovation left an enduring legacy, shaping both the technology landscape and the broader community through his philanthropy.