Just as planned, on June 30, Bill Gates officially retired from Microsoft (he remains chairman of he board, as well as the company’s largest stockholder—so he’ll still be involved, just not on a day-to-day basis).
This move was expected and was in the works for several years, unfolding in a public, well-orchestrated manner. From my perspective, Microsoft seems likely to continue as normal, with no interruption of business and no surprises lurking around the corner. (Dell did not fare so well when Michael Dell took a similar tack—he returned to the helm to steady his floundering ship.)
To salute Bill Gates and commemorate his momentous departure, eWeek magazine devoted 17 pages in their June 30 issue to the man behind Microsoft. (The best piece in the entire coverage was Jim Rapoza’s clever take-off on the classic movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” entitled, “Bill Gates—It’s a Wonderful Life.”)
The whole coverage was compelling stuff—but ironically it read much like a eulogy.
Bill’s not dead; he’s just changing careers, focusing his attention on his foundation: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. If Bill has as much success with philanthropy and he did software, it will be hard to image the tremendous impact he (and his fortune) will have on the world. He changed the world once at Microsoft, now he is at it again to fight “inequities in the United States and around the world.”
Bill, we wish you the best!