Microsoft's Ballmer scrambles to avoid egging

Associated Press

Microsoft Corp. chief executive officer Steve Ballmer scrambled for cover from an egg-hurling protester during a talk at a Hungarian university Monday.

Unlike his boss, chairman Bill Gates, who was hit in the face with a cream pie a decade ago, Ballmer managed to dodge the eggs.

Ballmer was delivering a speech entitled "You can change the world" to a group of business and technology students at Budapest's Corvinus University when the incident occurred, according to Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos.

A young man in glasses stood up, pointed at Ballmer and loudly demanded that Microsoft return money it had stolen from the Hungarian people. Then he calmly threw three eggs at Ballmer.

A video of the outburst in a large classroom was widely distributed over the internet Tuesday. In the footage, Ballmer crouched on the floor behind a large podium as the third egg smashed against the white board behind him.

The man, wearing a white shirt that read "Microsoft corruption," was escorted out of the room at the behest of the dean of the university.

Gellos said Microsoft does not know who the heckler was. The video shows him leaving peacefully; the crowd even laughs at one point.

Ballmer, who initially looked shaken, appeared to recover quickly. He smiled, shrugged and drew laughter from the audience with a quip: "It was a friendly disruption."

Gellos declined to comment on what, if any, security measures were in place that day.

Ballmer was in Budapest to announce Microsoft's leading role and investment a technology skills training program in Hungary, in partnership with the government and other companies. Later in the day, he also accepted an honorary fellowship from the university, according to Gellos.