Feeds

Bill Gates to pull a Steve Jobs and SAVE MICROSOFT – report

Will step down as chairman to get hands-on with products

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Microsoft founder Bill Gates may be planning a return to a more hands-on role at the company, according to the latest rumors from the software giant's ongoing search for a new chief executive.

Last week, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and others reported that veteran Microsoft exec Satya Nadella had emerged as the frontrunner for Redmond's CEO seat, after several outside candidates declined the position.

WSJ's sources further claimed that Nadella had asked Gates to "spend more time on technology and strategy" to help ease him into the role – assuming Nadella will get the nod, that is, which is what most everyone is now assuming.

Now Bloomberg has reported that Gates will set aside some of his administrative duties on Microsoft's board of directors, and will spend at least one day a week at the company's Redmond campus, where he will be involved in product development.

As part of that new arrangement, sources say, Gates will step down from his role as chairman of the board, although he will remain a director alongside outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer.

Gates' ouster as chairman, if it does go down, could come as welcome news to investors who have reportedly been clamoring for new blood in the boardroom.

But the idea that Gates would use his newfound free time to meddle with Microsoft's products might not sit well with those who argue that the software giant has remained mired in the past since Gates resigned as CEO in 2000.

Gates is known as one of the pioneers of the PC era. But PCs have lately taken a backseat to smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, and it's not clear that Gates – or anyone from Microsoft's old guard, for that matter – has a persuasive vision for how Redmond should operate in today's market.

Then again, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1996 – initially only in an advisory role – it triggered the beginning of a winning streak that eventually propelled Cupertino to become the highest-valued company in the world. But many would argue that Gates is no Steve Jobs.

"Bill Gates wants people to think he's Edison, when he's really Rockefeller," Jobs' longtime pal, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, once told Newsweek. "Though I wouldn't mind being Rockefeller either. But referring to Gates as the smartest man in America isn't right. I'm not the fourth smartest man in America. Wealth isn't the same thing as intelligence."

Speaking of which, so far there has been no mention of whether Gates – who remains the world's richest man, despite having vowed to give all of his money away – would draw a salary for his new part-time gig at Microsoft, should he get the job. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.