Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says 1997 investment into Apple was ‘the craziest thing we ever did’

In an interview with Bloomberg, which published this morning, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spent some time talking about Apple and Amazon.

In classic Ballmer form, the current LA Clippers owner provided multiple memorable quotes throughout the course of the three minute interview.

When asked about Apple, Ballmer reflected on Microsoft’s 1997 investment into the company, saying, in hindsight, it was a crazy move.

“We made an investment into Apple as part of settling a lawsuit. In a way, you can say that was the craziest thing we ever did,” he said. “But they’ve taken a foundation of great innovation, some cash and turned it into the most valuable company in the world.”

He then went to say he believes Microsoft is only company capable of competing with Apple on hardware.

“Microsoft will give them a good run for their money. No one else is really trying to compete with them anymore in a serious way with hardware. Who’s really going after the Mac? Who’s going after the iPad? You can basically say Microsoft and Samsung.”

Ballmer also had choice words for Amazon. When asked about the recent New York Times investigation into the company’s employment practices, he noted Amazon has always had a somewhat toxic company culture.

“I think they’re a place people don’t want to work,” he said. “Anybody that ever left Microsoft for Amazon we could count on them coming back within a year or two because it’s not great place to work and to do innovative work as an engineer.”

Check out the full interview here.