Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates has handed over a core part of his work at Microsoft with immediate effect.
Gates said he was relinquishing his day-to-day role at the company in two years’ time to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
But Microsoft has created a new role to fill Gates’s research responsibilities, that of chief research and strategy officer, which current chief technical officer Craig Mundie will take on immediately, Microsoft said.
The company has unveiled a two-year transition process where Ray Ozzie, who created VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet, takes over Gates’s current role as chief software architect. Microsoft said Ozzie would begin working side by side with Gates on all technical architecture and product oversight responsibilities.
“This was a hard decision for me,” Gates said. “I’m very lucky to have two passions that I feel are so important and so challenging. As I prepare for this change, I firmly believe the road ahead for Microsoft is as bright as ever.” Gates will give up all day-to-day activities by July 2008.