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The best part of being a business reporter

June 17, 2006

According to San Francisco Chronicle business reporter Tom Abate, it’s getting the chance to meet people who are larger than life figures in society. He writes about Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer in his Technology Chronicles blog.

Tom AbateAbate wrote, “As a tech reporter since the early 1990s, I’ve met both Gates and Ballmer and while I don’t have a deep relationship with either man I have at least some personal impressions. I recall Gates making the transition from nerd to tycoon, seemingly overnight. During the mid-1990s he came to San Francisco to introduce a software upgrade and held an event at Moscone Center where he pressed the flesh with hundreds of geeks. He was just one of them, a skinny guy in a t-shirt. The very next year he spoke at Comdex in Las Vegas and when I tried to follow him after his speech, a big guy in a suit stopped me. It was a bodyguard.

“As for Ballmer there are so many story one must suffice. I recall he once met the Chronicle editorial board when the company was in the midst of its many antitrust woes. We were a large group, sitting around a huge mahogany conference table. Ballmer sat at one end, grasping the two sides of the table like he was going to upend it. I asked him whether he had any regrets for the company’s action. I can’t remember the exact reply but he was unrepentant.

“The best part of being a business reporter is that I get to meet these larger than life characters. If you’ve had similar experiences, please share.”

Read more here.

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