As of this July, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates will begin his two-year transition process 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 is shooting for a “smooth and orderly transfer” of Gates’ daily responsibilities and that he will continue to serve as the company’s chairman and an advisor on key development projects.
Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie will immediately assume the title of chief software architect and begin working with Gates on all technical architecture and product oversight responsibilities, while Chief Technical Officer Craig Mundie will take the new title of chief research and strategy officer and work closely with Gates to assume his responsibility for the company’s “research and incubation efforts.” Mundie also will team with general counsel Brad Smith to spearhead 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.”
Gates, 50, started Microsoft in 1975 with childhood friend Paul Allen. He took it public in 1986 and was the company’s chairman and CEO until 2000. In 2000, with his wife, he formed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose assets now are $29.1 billion.