Gentleman...watch out for NASDAQ - I predict that there will be some slight/major changes in yahoo, google and microsoft.
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COMPUTER HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE
Gates Stepping Out Of Microsoft
Forbes.com staff 06.15.06, 6:40 PM ET
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced today that he will transition out of his role beginning in July 2008 and spend more time working for his foundation.
Currently, Gates works full time at Microsoft and part time at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on global health and poverty issues. Beginning two years from now, Gates said, he will work full time for the foundation and part time for Microsoft.
He announced the change two years in advance because "it gives us the time to make a strong transition and provides the full transparency we think is best."
Gates founded Microsoft in 1975 with Paul Allen. The company went public in 1986, and Gates served as chairman and CEO until 2000, when Steve Ballmer took over the position.
At the press conference at the company's Redmond, Wash., headquarters, Gates said he and Allen once dreamed of a computer in every home. Now, he said, that dream has become reality. "I have one of the best jobs in the world," Gates said. The 50-year-old, who is the world's richest man, said that he wants to return almost all of his wealth to society through his foundation.
Microsoft shares were down 0.50% in after-hours trading.
The surprise announcement comes at a pivotal time for the software giant, as its packaged-software dominance is being challenged by Google and Yahoo!
Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie will immediately get Gates' old job as chief software architect. The company said he would be "working side by side with Gates on all technical architecture and product oversight responsibilities."
Ballmer's role as chief executive will not change at the company, but Ozzie's ascendancy signals that his vision for remaking Microsoft is driving the agenda in Redmond.
Ozzie joined Microsoft in 2005 through an acquisition of his startup, Groove Networks, but he's been instrumental as a chief technical officer in shifting Microsoft toward a more nimble structure that involves distributing software over the Internet in frequent, seamless upgrades instead of the bulky, multiyear transition schedule the company currently wrestles with.
In a companywide e-mail in November, Gates heralded a "coming sea change" for Microsoft revolving around services. The message included a memo from Ozzie urging recognition that "a new business model has emerged in the form of advertising-supported services and software" and that "our business as we know it is at risk" if there is a failure to adequately respond.
Several months later, after Microsoft detailed yet another delay to its highly anticipated Vista operating system, an executive shuffle swept through the ranks of the software behemoth.
Jim Allchin, who had been head of the Windows unit, left the post to make room for the promotion of Steven Sinofsky, then senior vice president in charge of Office products. Sinofsky and Windows President Kevin Johnson will have full control of that unit by the end of 2006.
That was followed by financial results at the end of April that didn't do anything to lift the company's stock, but Ballmer pledged that the company's MSN unit will spend $1.1 billion in the next fiscal year on research and development, up from $700 million this year. That money and five years is all Ballmer says his company needs to catch up with Google in the lucrative realm of search.
Other changes are coming for Craig Mundie, a co-CTO along with Ozzie. He will take on the newly created position of chief research and strategy officer. Both Ozzie and Mundie reported directly to Gates, but come 2008 they will report to Ballmer.
Reported by Hannah Clark, Chris Kraeuter and Rachel Rosmarin.