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Microsoft Office chief to manage Bill Gates

Well, his foundation

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Jeff Raikes is to captain Bill and Melinda Gates' massive global philanthropic operation, just months after announcing his phased resignation from Microsoft.

Raikes, a Microsoft veteran of 27 years, has been named chief executive of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest philanthropic organization, managing $37bn in endowments and $3bn each year in grants.

Raikes announced in January he'd be leaving Microsoft in September, with his post of president of Microsoft's business division being taken over by former Juniper Networks' chief operating officer Stephen Elop. At the time, Raikes said he remained committed to Microsoft and would work full time until September.

In his post, Raikes oversaw Office, server and tools and business solutions. It was in Office, though, that Raikes really made his name, having driven product strategy and design for Office, securing the suite's massive footprint. Microsoft's business division is today a $4.6b annual business.

Raikes apparently beat 150 candidates from politics, academia and business to land his new post.

Melinda Gates described Raikes in a statement as a "trusted and respected leader" who is right to "lead the strategies we have in place to help reduce inequities in the United States and around the world." Billo - whose own slow withdrawal from day-to-day activities at Microsoft finishes in July - said he was "excited" to be working with Raikes again.®

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