AI-Fueled Stock Boom Means This Former Microsoft Employee Could Soon Outshine Bill Gates In Billionaire Rankings

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The former CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, is swiftly climbing the ranks of the world’s wealthiest, soon expected to surpass his predecessor, Bill Gates.

What Happened: As per Business Insider’s Sunday report, Ballmer’s net worth has seen an estimated growth of $29 billion this year, totaling to nearly $115 billion. This surge places him as the world’s fifth-richest individual, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

At present, a mere $6 billion separates Ballmer from Gates, who holds the fourth position with $121 billion. Remarkably, Ballmer’s fortune has outpaced the wealth of notable billionaires such as Larry Ellison, Warren Buffett, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sergey Brin.

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The primary driving factor behind Ballmer’s wealth expansion has been the AI boom, which significantly amplified Microsoft’s stock price. Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT, has also spurred optimism about challenging Alphabet’s supremacy in internet search, contributing to a 38% rise in Microsoft’s shares over the past 10 months.

If Ballmer succeeds in surpassing Gates, it will present a rare case of an employee exceeding the company founder’s wealth. Gates has diversified his wealth, partially through substantial donations to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other charities.

Why It Matters: As highlighted in a Benzinga report from August, despite a decline in stocks in 2022 that negatively impacted the wealth of the world’s richest, the rebound in 2023 has facilitated wealth recovery and growth. Ballmer’s rise aligns with this trend of wealth surge among the world’s richest in 2023.

Furthermore, another Benzinga article from September showcasing Elon Musk’s staggering wealth underscores the vast wealth accumulation among tech billionaires, including Ballmer.

Photo by Frederic Legrand – COMEO on Shutterstock

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