Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corporation.
Steven A. Ballmer is Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of software for personal and business computing. Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 and was the first business manager hired by Bill Gates. Since then, Ballmer’s leadership and passion have become hallmarks of his tenure at the company.
Ballmer and the company’s business and technical leaders are focused on continuing Microsoft’s innovation and leadership across the company’s core businesses. Microsoft’s goal is to provide an integrated platform to enable a seamless experience across a wide range of computing and non-PC devices and services.
Variously described as ebullient, focused, funny, passionate, sincere, hard-charging and dynamic, Ballmer has infused Microsoft with his own brand of energetic leadership, vision and spirit over the years.
Ballmer was born in March 1956, and grew up near Detroit, where his father worked as a manager at Ford Motor Co. He graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics. While in college, Ballmer managed the football team, worked on the Harvard Crimson newspaper as well as the university literary magazine, and lived down the hall from fellow sophomore Bill Gates. After college, he worked for two years at Procter & Gamble Co. as an assistant product manager and, before joining Microsoft, attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
John Battelle, 45, is an entrepreneur, journalist, professor, and author who has founded or co-founded scores of online, conference, magazine, and other media businesses.
In addition to his work at Federated Media, one of the largest media companies on the Internet, Battelle continues to serve as the Executive Producer and Program Chair of the Web 2 Summit, as well as a partner with BoingBoing.net. Battelle also maintains Searchblog, an ongoing analysis site that covers the intersection of media, technology, and culture at www.battellemedia.com.
Previously, Battelle occupied the Bloomberg chair in Business Journalism for the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. He was Chairman and CEO of Standard Media International (SMI), publisher of The Industry Standard and TheStandard.com. Prior to that, he was a co-founding editor of Wired magazine and Wired Ventures.
In 2005 Battelle authored The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture (Penguin/Portfolio), an international bestseller published in more than 25 languages. He is at work on his second book, with the working title What We Hath Wrought: A History of the Internet’s Next 30 Years. He is an expert in the field of media and technology, and has appeared on many national and international news channels such as CBS, BBC, CNN, PBS, Discovery, CNBC, and dozens more.
Battelle was a founding Board member of the Online Publishers Association and currently sits on the board of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. He sits on various startup advisory boards and served for nearly a decade on the Board of his children’s school.
Battelle’s honors and awards include: “Global Leader for Tomorrow” and “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; finalist rank in the “Entrepreneur of the Year” competition by Ernst & Young; “Innovator – One of Ten Best Marketers in the Business”by Advertising Age; and one of the “Most Important People on The Web” by PCWorld. Battelle holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a master’s degrees in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
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