VC-Backed Microsoft Targets During the Ballmer Era
August 26, 2013
The year 2000 marked a shift in power at one of the largest companies in the world—Microsoft. In January 2000, Bill Gates stepped down as CEO of the software giant and handed the reins to Steve Ballmer. Ballmer has now led Microsoft for the past 13+ years and has impacted the company in many ways, including increasing its total annual revenue from $23 billion when he first took over to a current $78 billion. He announced last week his plans to retire from the company within the next 12 months.
Since Ballmer took control as CEO, Microsoft has acquired 40 VC-backed companies, according to the PitchBook Platform. And while acquisitions commonly carry a hefty price tag, it’s still impressive that 67% of Microsoft’s VC-backed purchases under Ballmer’s leadership have been valued between $50 million and $200 million. But even that range is chump change compared to Microsoft’s largest acquisitions since 2000, including deals for Skype ($8.5 billion in 2011) and Yammer ($1.2 billion in 2012). During the timeframe, 2006 reached the highest number of acquisitions with VC-backed targets in a single year (9). In all, with Ballmer as CEO, Microsoft has dedicated a total of $11.5 billion to buying VC-backed companies.