The Microsoft Corp. chairman receives 4 million e-mails a day, but practically an entire department at the company he founded is dedicated to ensuring that nothing unwanted gets into his inbox, the company's chief executive said Thursday.
"There are two people who probably are the number one spam recipients in the world," Steve Ballmer said. "Bill Gates (is first) because he is Bill Gates. Bill literally receives four million pieces of e-mail per day, most of it spam."
Spam or junk e-mails are unsolicited messages, generally advertising goods or services and usually sent to many e-mail accounts simultaneously, often indiscriminately.
Ballmer said Microsoft has special technology that just filters spam intended for Gates.
"Literally there's a whole department almost that takes care of it," he said.
Ballmer did not name the second most-spammed e-mail account, but said he also ranks among the world's top spam recipients because he hands out his e-mail address — firstname.lastname@example.org — whenever he travels or speaks.
But being one of the top people at the world's top software company has its perks. Ballmer said only about 10 junk e-mails make it through to his inbox each day because of Microsoft's anti-spam technology.
He was in Singapore for the company's Government Leader's forum, which ends Friday.