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Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Surpasses Bill Gates on Bloomberg Billionaires Index

July 2, 2024

 

 

 

In an unexpected turn of events, Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft and current owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, has surpassed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. This marks the first occasion that Gates’ fortune has been eclipsed by one of his former subordinates.

Ballmer, known for his energetic personality, has ascended to sixth place on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with an estimated net worth of $157.2 billion. Meanwhile, Gates, who has stepped back from the corporate board to concentrate on his philanthropic efforts, is now ranked seventh with a net worth of $156.7 billion.

Gates, aged 68, has seen his wealth impacted by his divorce and his significant philanthropic contributions. His foundation, the Gates Foundation, is one of the largest charitable organizations globally with a fund of $75 billion. In contrast, Ballmer’s wealth has surged, largely driven by Microsoft’s success in the artificial intelligence sector. Microsoft, with a market capitalization of $3.3 trillion, is currently the most valuable company in the world.

 

 

Ballmer remains Microsoft’s largest shareholder, holding approximately 333.25 million shares, equating to around 4% of the company. Although 90% of his fortune is linked to his Microsoft shares, Ballmer’s other major asset is the Clippers, valued at around $4.5 billion.

Gates is the second-largest shareholder of Microsoft with 102.99 million shares. He derives about half of his wealth from Cascade Investment, his holding company, which has diverse investments in hospitality, agriculture, waste management, retail, car dealerships, and food industries. Recently, Gates broke ground on a nuclear power plant in Wyoming, a project by his energy company, TerraPower.

In 2021, Gates finalized his divorce from Melinda French Gates after 27 years of marriage. At the time of their separation, his net worth was estimated at $130 billion. The couple did not have a prenuptial agreement, and the terms of their divorce settlement were not disclosed. Melinda French Gates recently announced her departure as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and received $12.5 billion from her ex-husband to fund her own philanthropic endeavors.

Their divorce followed reports of Gates’ infidelity and his controversial friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Gates co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975 and hired Ballmer five years later as the company’s first business manager.

 

 

Over the past year, Microsoft’s stock has risen nearly 35%, outpacing the S&P 500’s 23% gain. Under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has established itself as a leader in cloud computing and artificial intelligence integration.

 

Credit: New York Post

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