KEY POINTS

  • Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer topped Forbes' list of the richest sports team owners in the world for 2022
  • The majority of Ballmer's fortune is derived from a stake in Microsoft
  • He is estimated to own a 4% stake in the tech giant

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who owns the Los Angeles Clippers, has topped Forbes' list of the richest sports team owners for 2022.

The 66-year-old business magnate has an estimated net worth of $91.4 billion, according to Forbes. But while he's the wealthiest person in the sports world today, the majority of Ballmer's fortune is derived from a stake in Microsoft, the world's biggest software maker.

In 1980, at the age of 24, Ballmer, who graduated from Harvard University with bachelor's degrees in mathematics and economics, joined his former Harvard classmate Bill Gates at Gates' tech start-up Microsoft as its business manager after dropping out of Stanford University's business school.

Ballmer rose to the rank of president and then took over for Gates as CEO in 2000.

He was Microsoft’s CEO until 2014, when he stepped down. In the same year, he bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. The team is now valued by Forbes at $3.3 billion.

Ballmer is estimated to own a 4% stake in Microsoft, Bloomberg reported. His stake was reportedly last disclosed in Microsoft's 2014 proxy, when he had 333 million shares. He's calculated to have since sold 14 million shares to cover almost one-third of the purchase price of the Clippers, according to the outlet.

In 2014, he founded Ballmer Group with his wife Connie Snyder. The philanthropic vehicle supports efforts to improve economic mobility for children and families in the U.S.

Since he retired, Ballmer has ramped up his philanthropy, putting over $2 billion into a donor-advised fund, which focuses on addressing poverty. In 2018, he reportedly invested $59 million in Social Solutions, which makes software for nonprofits and government agencies.

Currently, Ballmer is ranked 11th on Forbes' real-time billionaires list, which named Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk the richest person in the world today with a net worth of $278.4 billion. Gates is sixth on the list with a net worth of $107 billion.

According to Forbes' list, Ballmer is richer than Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Meta, formerly known as Facebook, who is ranked 19th with a net worth of $60.8 billion.

Meanwhile, rounding up top five in Forbes' list of the richest sports team owners for 2022 are cricket team Mumbai Indians owner Mukesh Ambani ($90.7 billion), soccer club Stade Rennais FC owner François Pinault ( $40.4 billion), soccer clubs New York Red Bulls and RB Leipzig's owner Dietrich Mateschitz ($27.4 billion) and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Daniel Gilbert ($22 billion).

steve ballmer
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Ballmer criticized the company's cloud computing accounting practices while saying that Windows 10 Mobile apps "won't work" and the phones need to be able to run Android apps. Jeff Gross/Getty Images
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