Position: Founder and Technology Advisor at Microsoft
Date of Birth: 10.28.1955
One of the richest men alive and the father of Microsoft, Bill Gates is an iconic example of a businessman, innovator and philanthropist. In 2014 he stepped down as the chairman of his software empire and dedicated himself to charitable work at his own foundation.
Bill Gates career
1975 — Gates founded Microsoft together with his schoolmate Paul Allen. Its first product was BASIC software designed for the Altair computer.
1980 — Microsoft released MS-DOS, an operating system for personal computers. It was initially designed as a part of Gates’ agreement with IBM. In just a year, Microsoft managed to sell licenses for MS-DOS to over 70 other companies.
1985 — The company launched Windows, a graphical extension for MS-DOS that became the most popular operating system of all times. Also in the mid-1980s, Gates and Steve Jobs began their struggle for influence.
1998 — Gates proactively participated in a trial against Microsoft, which was sued for violating the competition rules. According to witnesses, Gates behaved evasively, and his most frequent phrase was “I don't recall.”
2000 — After 25 years spent in the company, Gates pulled away from Microsoft routine and focused on software architecture, which he claimed to be his passion. However, he still remained the company’s CEO.
2014 — Gates stepped down as a chairman and started assisting new CEO Satya Nadella as a technology advisor. At this point, the founder of Microsoft had sold or given away the vast majority of his stake in the company and only owned 1% of it.
2018 — Gates lost his pole position in the list of richest people, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos became the new leader. Currently, Gates is at second place with a total net worth of $107 billion.
- Gates did not finish Harvard University. He chose to leave it to concentrate on Microsoft.
- The entrepreneur owns the Codex Leicester, a collection of scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci. He acquired it at Christies for $30.8 million in 1997. Gates allows it to be put on public display once a year, each time in a different city.
- Together with his wife, Gates founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the world's largest private charitable organization. Gates’ generous donations are cited among the main reasons why he lost his leading position in the world’s richest people list.
- Each of his three kids will inherit only $10 million of his tremendous net worth. Gates believes that leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them.