Microsoft's Bill Gates defrag is finally virtually complete: Billionaire quits board to double down on philanthropy

You look like you have coronavirus, can I help you with that?


Nearly 45 years to the day after founding Microsoft, Bill Gates today finally stepped down from the board to devote his time to dealing with global health issues and climate change.

“I have made the decision to step down from both of the public boards on which I serve – Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway – to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change,” the 65-year-old said in a post on Microsoft-owned Linkedin.

“With respect to Microsoft, stepping down from the board in no way means stepping away from the company. Microsoft will always be an important part of my life’s work and I will continue to be engaged with Satya and the technical leadership to help shape the vision and achieve the company’s ambitious goals.”

Gates hasn’t severed ties entirely: he’ll still be around a technical consultant for CEO Satya Nadella and other managers.

From the archives: Gates steps down as Microsoft CEO

READ MORE

However, for Gates, it marks a big step away from the business he set up in a strip mall in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in April 1975. Gates was CEO then – a Jobs to co-founder Paul Allen’s Wozniak – and ruled the roost of the software super-giant until stepping aside as chief exec in 2000 to give Steve Ballmer a crack at the helm. Gates remained as chairman and chief software architect, and dropped out of day-to-day operations in 2008. Today, the Microsoft mogul is worth a cool $100bn.

"It's been a tremendous honor and privilege to have worked with and learned from Bill over the years," said Nadella, who replaced Ballmer in 2014, in a canned statement today.

"Bill founded our company with a belief in the democratizing force of software and a passion to solve society's most pressing challenges. And Microsoft and the world are better for it. I am grateful for Bill's friendship and look forward to continuing to work alongside him to realize our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more."

Like many robber barons of the past, Gates has devoted at least some of his mind-boggling wealth to philanthropy. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has helped rid the world of polio for one thing. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • DuckDuckGo tries to explain why its browsers won't block Microsoft ad trackers
    Meanwhile, Tails 5.0 users told to stop what they're doing over Firefox flaw

    DuckDuckGo promises privacy to users of its Android, iOS browsers, and macOS browsers – yet it allows certain data to flow from third-party websites to Microsoft-owned services.

    Security researcher Zach Edwards recently conducted an audit of DuckDuckGo's mobile browsers and found that, contrary to expectations, they do not block Meta's Workplace domain, for example, from sending information to Microsoft's Bing and LinkedIn domains. Specifically, DuckDuckGo's software didn't stop Microsoft's trackers on the Workplace page from blabbing information about the user to Bing and LinkedIn for tailored advertising purposes. Other trackers, such as Google's, are blocked.

    "I tested the DuckDuckGo so-called private browser for both iOS and Android, yet neither version blocked data transfers to Microsoft's Linkedin + Bing ads while viewing Facebook's workplace[.]com homepage," Edwards explained in a Twitter thread.

    Continue reading
  • Despite 'key' partnership with AWS, Meta taps up Microsoft Azure for AI work
    Someone got Zuck'd

    Meta’s AI business unit set up shop in Microsoft Azure this week and announced a strategic partnership it says will advance PyTorch development on the public cloud.

    The deal [PDF] will see Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella company deploy machine-learning workloads on thousands of Nvidia GPUs running in Azure. While a win for Microsoft, the partnership calls in to question just how strong Meta’s commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) really is.

    Back in those long-gone days of December, Meta named AWS as its “key long-term strategic cloud provider." As part of that, Meta promised that if it bought any companies that used AWS, it would continue to support their use of Amazon's cloud, rather than force them off into its own private datacenters. The pact also included a vow to expand Meta’s consumption of Amazon’s cloud-based compute, storage, database, and security services.

    Continue reading
  • Atos pushes out HPC cloud services based on Nimbix tech
    Moore's Law got you down? Throw everything at the problem! Quantum, AI, cloud...

    IT services biz Atos has introduced a suite of cloud-based high-performance computing (HPC) services, based around technology gained from its purchase of cloud provider Nimbix last year.

    The Nimbix Supercomputing Suite is described by Atos as a set of flexible and secure HPC solutions available as a service. It includes access to HPC, AI, and quantum computing resources, according to the services company.

    In addition to the existing Nimbix HPC products, the updated portfolio includes a new federated supercomputing-as-a-service platform and a dedicated bare-metal service based on Atos BullSequana supercomputer hardware.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022