Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is now just as rich as his former boss Bill Gates. Here’s how he spends his billions.

Steve Ballmer was Bill Gates’ assistant before ultimately becoming Microsoft’s CEO himself in 2000.

Earlier this week, Steve Ballmer’s wealth briefly overtook that of his former boss, Bill Gates.It was only a brief blip, though: They’re now tied at $158 billion, Bloomberg data shows.Ballmer spends his fortune on the NBA’s LA Clippers, the Intuit Dome arena, homes, and more.

It’s not often an employee becomes richer than a company’s founder, but that’s just what happened this week — at least briefly — with Bill Gates and his former assistant.

Steve Ballmer’s wealth leapfrogged that of Gates, his former boss and Microsoft’s cofounder. Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index showed Ballmer’s pulling ahead was short-lived, though: The men are now both worth $158 billion, as of late Friday, according to the index, which is sure to move again as the markets fluctuate.

Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 as the company’s first business manager and climbed the ranks to become CEO in 2000, succeeding Gates in the position. Ballmer remained CEO until 2014, when he passed the baton to Satya Nadella.

Here’s a look at how Ballmer spends his vast fortune:

Ballmer owns the LA Clippers NBA team.
Ballmer is one of the richest sports team owners in the world.

Ballmer is one of the world’s wealthiest sports team owners.

He bought the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team in 2014, the same year he stepped down as Microsoft’s CEO. He paid $2 billion, a record for the sale of a professional basketball team at the time.

He’s bankrolling the Clippers’ new arena, the Intuit Dome.
Ballmer is particularly focused on making sure there are enough toilets in the arena, which is still under construction.

Ballmer says he’s footing the bill to build the most expensive arena in the NBA. The Intuit Dome, which is still under construction in Inglewood, California, just outside Los Angeles, is expected to cost $2 billion.

(Ballmer added that his obsession with the arena is “toilets, toilets, toilets.” The 17,500-seat arena will have 1,160 toilets and urinals, Bloomberg reported.)

In Washington state, Ballmer has purchased several homes.
Steve and Connie Ballmer have bought multiple Washington residences over the years.

Over the years, Ballmer has snapped up multiple homes in Washington state, where Microsoft is headquartered.

In 2019, he and his wife, Connie Ballmer, with whom he shares three children, paid $9.8 million to buy the home adjacent to their existing home in Hunts Point.

The couple began buying property on Whidbey Island in Washington in 2005.

Ballmer created and funds a website that focuses on government data. launched in 2017.

In 2017, Ballmer launched, whose website says it “makes government data accessible and understandable.”

He told The New York Times that year that he’d spent upward of $10 million on USA Facts in direct funding and grants, and that it could cost up to $5 million a year to sustain.

The Ballmers in 2015 founded the Ballmer Group as a family office to support their goals.
Steve and Connie Ballmer founded the Ballmer Group in 2015.

The Ballmer family office funds organizations with the goal of “improving economic mobility and opportunity for children and families in the United States,” according to its website.

Through the couple’s philanthropic arm, for example, they’ve pledged $425 million to the University of Oregon for an institute for children’s mental and behavioral health.

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