After founding what has become one of the world’s most successful (and dominant) software companies, Bill Gates will be riding off into the sunset–gradually leaving his position at the helm of the company, that is. First he stepped down as Chief Executive Officer (replaced by Steve Ballmer) and took on the hat of being the “Chief Software Architect.” Now he’s moving out of his daily role as CSA to devote more time to projects that are perhaps closer to his heart. The software architect role has been taken on by Ray Ozzie, the company’s Chief Technical Officer.
From Microsoft PressPass,
… effective July 2008 Bill Gates, chairman, will transition out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The company announced a two-year transition process to ensure that there is a smooth and orderly transfer of Gates’ daily responsibilities, and said that after July 2008 Gates would continue to serve as the company’s chairman and an advisor on key development projects.
This news notwithstanding, we still expect will to have great influence over software design and business at Microsoft. Gates has been Microsoft’s public face, and the person people loved to hate (or love, as in some cases) even though he had already ceded control of business decisions to CEO Steve Ballmer. As such, we think Bill Gates will still be much-attributed to Microsoft.
Gates is one of the most well-known entrepreneurs of our time, having founded Microsoft in 1975 with friend Paul Allen. The company rose from obscurity to dominance over the next couple of decades, and to date dominates the desktop computing market, with majority of the world’s computers running on a flavor of Microsoft Windows and also the Microsoft Office suite of applications. It is because of this dominance and the allegation that Microsoft has been engaging in unfair business practices that the company has been in and out of legal battles. In 2000, Gates, with his wife started the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, which funded scholarships and health research. Gates and Melinda (along with U2’s Bono) were Time Magazine’s 2005 people of the year.
Gates will continue his role as Chairman of Microsoft and adviser on key issues. He will be devoting more of his time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.