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Son of Former Microsoft CEO Opens Up About Growing Up Rich: 'People Will Lay Down for You'

Pete Ballmer, son of ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, said that having a famous billionaire father was not "something that I made a part of my identity"

<p>Steven Ferdman/Getty</p> Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Steven Ferdman/Getty

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
  • Pete Ballmer, the son of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, said in a podcast that he wasn't fully comfortable growing up rich and having a famous tech CEO as a father

  • "It's not something that I made a part of my identity," he said during the Feb. 13 episode of the Cash Cuties podcast

  • However, the 29-year-old stand-up comedian acknowledged his privilege and said "people will lay down for you" when you're a billionaire

Peter Ballmer, son of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, is speaking candidly about what it was like to grow up wealthy.


The former project manager turned stand-up comedian, 29, admitted on a recent episode of the Cash Cuties podcast that he was "deeply uncomfortable” with having a famous billionaire father.

"It was not something that I wanted to be a part of who I was,” he said in the Feb. 13 episode. "It's not something that I made a part of my identity."

Steve Ballmer, who led Microsoft from 2000 to 2014 after Bill Gates stepped down from the position, currently has an estimated net worth of over $122 billion, according to Forbes.

Related: Phoebe Gates Addresses 'Misconceptions and Conspiracy Theories' About Her Family and Boyfriend

Still, Pete said his parents kept him and his brother's childhoods relatively normal, and said he drove his dad's old 1998 Lincoln vehicle and received a $10 weekly allowance as a kid.

"They didn't grow up with money," he said, noting that his parents had the idea that they "don't want to be wasteful with money" and "don't want to spend if we don't have to."

But because everyone knew who his dad was, he faced some challenges.

"There was one time after a lacrosse game in seventh grade [that] somehow the entire other team knew who I was," he said. As the opposing team members said "good game" and gave each other a handshake, Pete said they told him, "Apple is better."

Related: Microsoft Tested a 4-Day Workweek in Japan — and Productivity Went Up by 40 Percent

But Pete also got candid about his privilege, describing how his family once went on a trip to visit the Statue of Liberty in New York City and had access to an exclusive lunch as others waited in line to order food.

"When you're a billionaire...people will lay down for you," he remarked.

Related: 'How to Get Rich' Star Reveals How to Start Living a 'Rich Life' Now — and a 'Richer One Tomorrow'

By college and his early 20s, Pete noted that people still knew who he was, but "way less so," which gave him the ability to avoid being linked with his dad. When he first started doing stand-up in college, he said he went by the stage name "Pete Bronson” to try and distance himself.

The comedian has been able to reap some of the benefits of his wealth, though, including tipping off his dad to buy the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team and chances to meet former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

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As far as his current financial situation, Pete says he mostly spends money on Ubers, DoorDash and even on "conveniences" like flight change fees.

Still, the comedian pointed out one “funny” comment he gets when people tell him he’s going to be “really rich one day.”

“I'm like, ‘Yeah, are you asking me if I'm going to be excited about my parents dying?’" he quipped.

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