Bill Gates Retires

June 27th, 2008 at 12:00 am

bill gates

Bill Gates, the Harvard University dropout who foresaw 33 years ago that personal computers would revolutionize the world, spends his last official full-time work at Microsoft on Friday.

However, Gates will remain the chairman of the company’s board of directors and will work about once every week at Microsoft. The leader, whose nerdy looks and boyish face become the symbol of the the US software juggernaut, remains Microsoft’s largest shareholder.

After more than three decades of leading Microsoft, Gates announced he will devote his full attention to the foundation he established with his wife, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Holding the distinction as the wealthiest charity around the world, the foundation aims to help reduce global poverty and improve health care.

Microsoft, which boasts of a market capitalization of around US$260 billion, failed in its attempt to buy Yahoo as an answer to Google’s Internet dominance. Despite the strong competition posed by online colossus Google as well as longtime rival Apple, many analysts bet that Microsoft will continue its lead even with the absence of Gates.

Gates told Newsweek that, despite tough competition and the company’s antitrust battles and problems with Windows Vista, Microsoft is stronger than ever before.

Gates’ duties and responsibilities are taken over by Ray Ozzie, Steve Ballmer, and Craig Mundie. Ozzie replaces Gates as chief software architect. Ballmer, Gate’s Harvard classmate, is chief executive officer. Mundie inherits Gates’ duties as chief research and strategy officer of the software giant based in Redmond, Washington.

Rob Helm, director of research at the independent analysis firm, Directions said, "Bill has been there so long he has lots of ‘Baby Bills’ that represent the same culture: very smart, very aggressive and focused on meeting competition head on."

[ Mark Anthony Simon dela Cruz ]