From the time-to-cash-in-your-chips-dept.
Microsoft Corp. said after the bell Thursday that Chairman Bill Gates will transition 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 announced a two-year transition process to ensure that there is a smooth and orderly transfer of Gates’ daily responsibilities, and said that after July 2008 Gates would continue to serve as the company’s chairman and an adviser on key development projects.
Microsoft said 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, to ensure a smooth transition.
It’s hard to tell what this really means for both Microsoft or the technology business. Having Gates as “chief software architect” really was quite silly. Only the true Microsoft fanboys will claim he was a decent software architect. Microsofts success was always a sales sucess and not a technical sucess. Still, Gates has led them this far.
With increased pressure from Apple and Google, this is not a bad time for Gates to hang up his hat. It looks near certain that MS’s market domination is on the retreat so leaving now insures his place in tech history.
The timing also insulates him from the upcoming backlash over Vista.