Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is known for his intensity. During corporate presentations, the 57-year-old Detroit native can occasionally be found prancing around the stage, shrieking at the top of his lungs in displays that might seem better suited for a mosh-pit at a grunge rock club in Seattle. Ballmer is nothing if not competitive: He once reportedly hurled a chair across his office during an anti-Google tirade in which he raged, “I’m going to f*cking kill Google,” after the search giant poached one of his top employees.
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Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 as one of its earliest employees, a few years after graduating from Harvard. In 2000, Ballmer, who is now worth an estimated $15 billion thanks to an early stake in the company, was named CEO, succeeding Bill Gates. In the years since, Microsoft’s revenue and profits have surged, even as it’s been eclipsed in the mobile and Internet search markets by sexier tech titans like Apple and Google. That’s one reason why Microsoft’s stock price has been basically flat over the last decade. Microsoft still makes gobs of money — especially in the corporate software market — but the company is still looking for a new hit to wow consumers.
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