Tuesday, July 5

Steve Ballmer joins the $100 billion club after Microsoft’s stock gains give the ex-CEO’s wealth a big boost

Former Microsoft CEO & LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.

A jump in Steve Ballmer’s net worth has landed the former Microsoft CEO a spot in the exclusive $100 billion club, spurred by gains for the software-maker’s shares this year.

Ballmer’s fortune has risen to a hefty $101 billion, making him the ninth person to reach that level of wealth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires’ Index. The 65-year-old American businessman’s fortune grew by $20 billion this year alone.

Windows-maker Microsoft last month became the second US-listed company ever to hit a $2 trillion valuation, second only to Apple in reaching that milestone. Its shares have gained 25% year-to-date, outperforming tech peers Apple and Amazon.

A self-described “loyal dude” who still owns Microsoft stock, Ballmer is estimated to own a 4% stake in the company, or about 333 million shares, according to Bloomberg.

Ballmer, who joined Microsoft as its 30th employee in 1980, stepped down as CEO in 2014 after 14 years in the role. Over the years, he acquired a reputation in the tech community for being eccentric and high-energy.

He now owns the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, valued at $2.6 billion, and is involved in philanthropy with his wife, Connie.

Seven members of the $100 billion club have seen their fortunes surge this year, led by a rally in tech shares. Jeff Bezos, who stepped down as Amazon’s CEO on July 5, has gained the most. His net worth has risen above $200 billion, making him the richest person in the world.

The nine members of the elite club have together added about $245 billion to their wealth pile since the start of 2021, giving them a collective worth of $1.36 trillion, according to Bloomberg.

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