Achievements: Ballmer joined Microsoft as its first business manager in 1980 and gained notoriety as the chief architect of the company's sales and channel strategy. He is credited with coming up with the branding and pricing strategies that made Microsoft the software giant it remains today. He was also a member of the original Windows 1 team.
Today: Today Ballmer is Microsoft's CEO, a position he's held since 2000. About three weeks ago, Ballmer made a secretive announcement in West Hollywood that marked a significant shift in course for the software company – Microsoft's entrance into the tablet arena and dive into the hardware industry. Microsoft has yet to release its new Surface tablet, but the company hopes its strike into the tablet fray will create fervor for Windows-based mobility devices.