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Bill Gates May Soon Refocus on Microsoft Product Development

by Todd Haselton | February 3, 2014February 3, 2014 9:00 am PDT


Bill Gates is currently Microsoft’s chairman, and while rumors have suggested he may soon relinquish his post, he won’t be leaving the company entirely. In fact, he may again have a deeper role in the products Microsoft develops for consumers, according to a report from Bloomberg published on Monday. His role change may come at the same time that a new CEO is announced; right now Microsoft exec Satya Nadella is reportedly the top choice.

“He’s weighing going to work at Microsoft at least one day a week,” Bloomberg said, meaning Gates may once again have his boots on the ground inside of Microsoft, instead of focusing on the company’s financials. On other days, Gates will continue his work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Inside of Microsoft, Gates will reportedly provide direct feedback on new products that are being developed. Bloomberg said Microsoft director John Thompson may step up and take over Gates’ current position.

Bloomberg didn’t name what Gates’ official title might be, or how much of a hand he’ll have in existing and future products. It also didn’t say whether Gates will focus on hardware or software, or both, though we suspect he’ll help guide product managers to help the company develop new technology that consumers will want. One former executive told Bloomberg that Gates’ “product reviews were legendary,” so there’s at least a positive aspect to having his input, though the executive express concern that Gates may be out of touch since tech has changed vastly since he last helped on product development.

Microsoft is expected to announce its new CEO as soon as the middle of this week, and we expect to hear details on Gates’ future with the company at the same time.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...