Thursday, June 15, 2006

Gates Leaving Microsoft?

[[B U S I N E S S]] * Wow, this ranks right up there are Big News. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:
Bill Gates will step down from his full-time executive position at Microsoft Corp. in two years, he announced Thursday afternoon, signaling a momentous transition for the company he built into an icon of technology and commerce.

In an historic shift for one of the world’s best-known entrepreneurs, Gates, 50, said he plans to take on a full-time role at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation starting in July 2008. He said he plans to remain Microsoft’s chairman and an adviser on key projects even after the transition.

“This decision was a hard one for me to make,” Gates acknowledged, calling it “not a retirement” but rather a “reordering” of his priorities. “I’m very lucky to have two passions that I feel are so important and so challenging,” he added.
The P-I notes that Microsoft “will effectively split Gates’ existing duties,” with Ray Ozzie, one of the company’s chief technical officers, taking on Gates’ title of “chief software architect,” while another chief technical officer, Craig Mundie, will assume the position of chief research and strategy officer. Steve Ballmer, who has been Microsoft’s CEO since 2000, will remain in that post, despite being “under fire from Wall Street for the company’s slow growth and flagging share price.”

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