Join Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a conversation about the future of the company following the highly anticipated release of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The discussion will be led by Reid Hoffman, Partner, Greylock, and Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, LinkedIn.
CEO, Microsoft Corporation
Partner, Greylock; Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, LinkedIn
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.
Reid Hoffman is co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn Corporation and a partner at Greylock Partners. LinkedIn, which he led to profitability as its CEO and chairman, has more than 150 million members in 200 countries and territories around the world. Hoffman serves on several boards including those of Airbnb, Edmodo, Mozilla, and Zynga. Hoffman also leads the Greylock Discovery Fund, which invests in seed-stage entrepreneurs and companies. Prior to LinkedIn and Greylock, he served as executive vice president at PayPal, where he was a founding board member. Hoffman also serves on the boards of Kiva.org, Endeavor.org, DoSomething.org, and StartupAmericaPartnership.org. He co-authored the best-selling book The Startup of You. In 2010, Hoffman was the recipient of an SD Forum Visionary Award and also named a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute. In 2011, Hoffman was named an Endeavor Entrepreneur of the Year.
Steve Ballmer offers a unique insight on what he believes are the least understood parts of Microsoft's vision-- machine learning and big data---and explains the company's investment in both in anecdote from a casino trip he took to Las Vegas.