Yesterday, Microsoft presented one shocking news: Bill Gates will retire and leave Microsoft.
Set for July 2008, Bill Gates who is now chairman of Microsoft will retire to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Still, after July 2008 Gates would continue to serve as the company’s chairman and an advisor on key development projects.
Since 1975 when together with his friend Paul Allen started Microsoft, Bill Gates was a key figure to the Redmond giant.
The company announced that Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie will immediately assume the title of chief software architect and begin working side by side with Gates on all technical architecture and product oversight responsibilities, to ensure a smooth transition. Similarly, Chief Technical Officer Craig Mundie will immediately take the new title of chief research and strategy officer and will work closely with Gates to assume his responsibility for the company’s research and incubation efforts; Mundie also will partner with general counsel Brad Smith to guide Microsoft’s intellectual property and technology policy efforts.
“Our business and technical leadership has never been stronger, and Microsoft is well-positioned for success in the years ahead. I feel very fortunate to have such great technical leaders like Ray and Craig at the company,” Gates said. “I remain fully committed and full time at Microsoft through June 2008 and will be working side by side with Ray and Craig to ensure that a smooth transition occurs.”
“This was a hard decision for me,” Gates added. “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.”
Ballmer and Gates noted that Microsoft has been steadily expanding its senior leadership in recent years, and that today’s announcement continues a transition process that has been underway for several years. In January 2000, Gates assumed the role of chief software architect and Ballmer assumed the role of CEO, responsible for all day-to-day operations and company business strategy.
In the last time, Bill Gates main purpose was Vindows Vista. He was involved in every aspect of development. He also considered XBOX project as one of its child. Since July 2008, Gates will still remain chairman but he won’t be involved in any technical or development aspect. Maybe with advices or knowledge but he will mostly leave Microsoft to continue without him.
To continue with its actual CEO, Steve Ballmer. But until Bill Gates will leave, Ray Ozzie, a close friend of Bill Gates will stay close to him to learn and to continue its work.
After the retirement, Bill Gates will continue its work at the foundation that him and his wife have, foundation that is one of the largest in the world and which gave away until now almost $30 billion for actions like diseases, cancer and AIDS.
Well, that’s about all. Bill Gates will leave and Steve Ballmer era will start.