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May 31, 2017

Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on why he bought into Twitter

Steve Ballmer discussed why he invested in Twitter on stage at Code Conference, also sharing that he now owns a "large percentage" of the online platform.

By Hannah Williams

The former CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, appeared on stage at the Code Conference on Tuesday evening to discuss his investment in Twitter.

Ballmer, who is also the owner of Los Angeles Clippers, took hold of 4% of the social media site Twitter in 2015.

When asked why he invested in the asset Ballmer said: “I think there’s a real opportunity to make that a valuable economic asset. I’m proud to be associated with the asset and the company because I think there’s so many good things that come out of that real-time information.

“Whether you agree or disagree with anybody who’s tweeting it gives people a chance to communicate directly with the people they want to talk to in the world.”

However, Ballmer did not disclose how much he currently owns of the asset but replied saying it is a “large percentage.”

Read more: Former Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer enters fake news fight for US taxpayers

Twitter has a wide user base around the world and as discussed in the interview, Ballmer believes the online platform will continue to exceed expectations.

Ballmer denied the rumours that Microsoft made attempts to acquire Twitter when he was CEO and said with concern: “Being a CEO is a large job, I can speak to that, and being a CEO of two things I can’t even imagine.

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“Now when you’re a retired guy you can be kind of half involved or a third involved in a lot of things,” Ballmer added.

However, when asked if he plans to make any further investments in the near future, Ballmer said: “I’m not into that investor business thing; I’m back to bonds and index funds and Microsoft and of course, the clippers.”

Steve Ballmer is also the co-founder of his Philanthropic Ballmer Group, which focuses on bettering the lives of young children in need.

Ballmer also discussed his recent initiative USAFacts, which he launched with an aim to improve transparency in the US government.

He explained that the idea of the initiative stems from the fact that government data was not easy to find, adding that “it was almost impossible to find this stuff.”

USAFacts will be releasing detailed reports yearly and Ballmer aims to target a readership similar to that of TheTimes and The Journal.

 

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