After 14 long years as the Chief Executive Office of Microsoft from January 2000 to February of 2014, businessman Steve Ballmer is about to show everybody that he’s still got game. From being the head of arguably one of the biggest technology companies, he is now the owner of a very competitive basketball team in the NBA, the Los Angeles Clippers. The opinionated leader used to give jabs against his competitors, Apple Inc., Linux, and Google, which he bowed to “kill”. Will he also have that same ideology in leading the Clippers though?
Leading Microsoft for A Decade and A Half
In 1980, Ballmer became Microsoft’s 30th employee. As the years have passed, he has been a part of the software giant’s growth and domination of personal computing. When he was elected Chief Executive Officer in January 2000, Ballmer has dramatically shifted the company’s vision into directions other than software development. He was at the helm when Microsoft started their cloud computing strategy and the acquisitions of various companies, one of the more popular, was Skype. He was also able to boost the sales of Microsoft from $25 billion to $70 billion. He was also able to put in a lot of innovations for Microsoft, which led to the development and launch of the Xbox gaming console, Microsoft Exchange, Windows Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, System Center, Dynamics CRM, and most recently, the Windows phone operating system, and the Surface tablet device. After facing a series of problems, Ballmer eventually retired and vacated his post as the company’s Chief Executive. After his stint at Microsoft, Ballmer has then tried to buy a couple of NBA teams until his recent victory with his acquisition of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers’ Ownership Saga/Racism in the Modern Times
The Clippers have been in the spotlight recently after its longtime owner, Donald Sterling has been involved in a controversy. In April 25, 2014, entertainment news organization TMZ has released an alleged audio recording of Sterling that contained disturbing and racist statements. The players feared being subjected to acts of race and color discrimination and later on mounted their silent protest for it. This is a great proof that famous people like Chris Paul and the team’s African-American players are still vulnerable to various acts of discrimination in the workplace. Fortunately, after a series of investigations were done by the NBA, Commissioner Adam Silver has banned Sterling for life in the league, paving the way for the search of a new owner.
For a time, the future of the Los Angeles Clippers team was left in limbo as Donald Sterling contested the NBA’s decision about him, blocking the sale and transfer of the team to a new owner. This seemed like a bad time to happen as this was the Clippers’ most successful seasons as of late.
Ballmer and the Future of the Clippers
While the past year has been a rollercoaster ride for the team, the Clippers might probably be in for an exciting future as they can put the Donald Sterling issue to rest. There might be issues about Ballmer’s leadership/ownership style. However, it is undeniable that the Clippers are definitely one of the teams to look out for this coming season. Hopefully, with more focus and the newfound leadership with Ballmer, the Clippers will be ready to compete this coming season.