Bill Gates Stepping Down at Microsoft

Bill Gates giving up control of Microsoft to focus on his charitable work.

Bill Gates Stepping Down at Microsoft PHOTO Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said Thursday he will transition out of a day-to-day role at the company he co-founded to spend more time on global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The company announced a two-year transition to ensure that there is a smooth transfer of Gates’ daily responsibilities, and said that after July 2008 Gates would continue to serve as the company’s chairman and an adviser on key development projects.

“This was a hard decision for me,” Gates said in a statement. “I’m very lucky to have two passions that I feel are so important and so challenging. As I prepare for this change, I firmly believe the road ahead for Microsoft is as bright as ever.”

Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie will immediately assume the title of chief software architect and begin working with Gates on all technical and product oversight responsibilities, Microsoft said. Similarly, Chief Technical Officer Craig Mundie will immediately take the new title of chief research and strategy officer and will work with Gates on the company’s research and incubation efforts.

Garth Brooks once said of himself that he had made more money than his grandchildren could ever spend. Gates probably made Brooks’ lifetime earnings last Tuesday. If anyone’s in a position to spend the rest of their life doing the thing they’re most passionate about, it’s Gates.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Django Bliss says:

    Want to really get a feel for how much money Gates is moving into his foundation and personal assets every day?

    Take a look a his daily sales of MicroSoft stock. Anywhere from $25 Million to $150 Million, PER DAY, EVERY DAY.

    I think Gates devoting more time to his foundation is a good move. The last year or so MS has made good progress in seeming less like the bad guy. This could help to continue that trend and love him or hate him, having a smart guy like Gates more involved with his charity foundation can only be a good thing.

  2. Interesting numbers regarding Gates’ stock sales. Personally, I applaud this move of his. Obviously, when considering “the big picture,” the work his Foundation does is infinitely more important than what MS does.

  3. Gates is an amazing man!!

  4. Richard Gardner says:

    I agree Gates is amazing, in that he is one of the few business leaders that has been able to take a small garage business into one of the most successful corporations in history. Most “garage businesses” expand beyond the ability of the founder to lead them, but Gates managed to learn as his company expanded.

    He will be the Andrew Carnegie of our generation (yes, my town had one of his libraries). Noblese oblige, indeed.

  5. The Analyzer says:

    Here is the rest of the story.
    Bill Gates News

    The truth is revealed!

  6. hln says:

    All I can do is look at him and think “Mr. Rogers.”


  7. The Thomas says:

    The “Foundation” currently has 28 billion (with a B) in it. Me thinks Bill wants to supervise that money a little better.