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Microsoft founder Bill Gates announced today that he would step back from running day-to-day operations at Microsoft in order to focus on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This ends an interesting transition that began in 1995 when Netscape went public following the success of its Internet browser. Microsoft followed with its browser, Explorer, and wound up in a serious and lengthy trial over marketing practices. Microsoft and Gates were bruised in the process, but they achieved their marketing objectives. The issue now dawning is the battle to become the dominant player in Internet Search and online services, which will be a huge battle between Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. |
When the battle closes, Mr. Gates will be the company founder who played a senior role in mentoring the company's new generation of leadership through the marketing battles. Even if the new leaders fail due to Gates's absence from the battlefield, Microsoft will have a new set of faces and a new company image, and Gates will above the fray and attending to his philanthropic goals.
Microsoft's Gates to leave daily role By ALLISON LINN, AP Business Writer
Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates announced Thursday that he will transition from day-to-day responsibilities at the company he co-founded to concentrate on the charitable work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gates will continue on as the company's chairman after transferring his duties over a two-year period.
"This was a hard decision for me," said Gates, who founded the world's largest software company with childhood friend Paul Allen. "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."
Microsoft's Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie will immediately assume Gate's title as chief software architect and begin working side by side with Gates on overseeing all software technical design.
Chief Technical Officer Craig Mundie will immediately take the new title of chief research and strategy officer and will work with Gates in those areas. Mundie also will partner with general counsel Brad Smith to guide Microsoft's intellectual property and technology policy efforts.
The news was announced after financial markets closed. Earlier, shares in Microsoft rose 19 cents, or 0.87 percent, to close Thursday at $22.07 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Shares gained 5 cents in after-hours trading.