Microsoft's Ballmer attacked by egg-tosser

Onlookers capture video of incident

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was forced to take cover behind a lectern Monday during an address at Corvinus University of Budapest after a student began shouting and tossing eggs.

Ballmer was not hit, but the attack was caught on video by one attendee.

After dodging the eggs, Ballmer shrugs, smiles and quips, "It was a friendly disruption" and the auditorium breaks into laughter. Ballmer then rubs his chin and says, "That broke my train of thought."

The attacker, wearing a shirt with "Microsoft = Corruption" written on the back in big block letters, stood at his seat just seconds after Ballmer opened his talk. The verbal assault on the Microsoft chief lasts about 10 seconds.

Despite the attacker mostly speaking in Hungarian, at one point he begins talking in English and is heard to say: "...to the Hungarian people, give that money back, right now."

He then tosses an egg at Ballmer as the executive moves to crouch behind a lectern. The attacker then reaches into his pocket for something else, which turns out to be two more eggs.

The audience can be heard reacting vocally, and it appears they are mostly jeering the attacker.

One student puts his arm on the attacker's shoulder in what looks like an attempt to get him to stop.

After tossing the eggs, the student glares back at Ballmer as the CEO is rising from behind the lectern with a confused and disapproving look. The students in the attacker's row rise to let him exit.

Many of the students have stunned or embarrassed looks on their faces.

The egg-tosser then mutters some more words and begins walking down toward where Ballmer is standing.

As the camera pans, two men in suits help usher the man out of the room but not before he makes a couple of gestures toward Ballmer and mutters something. Many in the audience chuckle.

Corvinus University of Budapest is a nearly 90-year-old institution with some 18,000 students.

The attack was reminiscent of the time that then-CEO Bill Gates was hit in the face with a cream pie in Brussels, Belgium, in 1998.

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John Fontana

Network World

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