Microsoft Corp. founder and chairman Bill Gates said Thursday that he’ll transition out of the company in July 2008 to work full-time at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gates, who founded the company 30 years ago with Paul Allen, will immediately drop the title of chief software architect. That role will be filled by Ray Ozzie, currently Microsoft’s chief technical officer.
Gates also said that Microsoft veteran Craig Mundie will take the new title of chief research and strategy officer.
“I’ve decided that two years form today, starting July 2008, I will reorder my priorities,” Gates said at a press conference late Thursday, after the stock market closed. “We’ve decided that this it’s the right thing to announce this publicly two years in advance. It gives us the time to make a full transition.”
Gates, the richest man in the world, will remain chairman. Steve Ballmer will maintain his role as CEO.
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