After more than a decade at the helm of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer announced that he is stepping down from his role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) within the next 12 months, and possibly sooner depending on how quickly he and a special committee appointed by the board can find a successor. Until then, he will continue to serve in his position as Microsoft transforms into a devices and services company, the Redmond outfit announced today.
Has it been two years already? Bill Gates, once the face of Microsoft, stepped down from his position as CEO of the largest software maker in the world back in July 2008, and he hasn't been back since. So what's he up to now?
CNNMoney has put together a fairly in-depth piece detailing life after Microsoft for the man who, not all that long ago, was spotted doing the Robot next to Jerry Seinfeld and made us all crave churros. In a nutshell, he's doing exactly what he said he would, which is to continue fighting the good fight through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Still young by retirement standards, Bill Gates is only 54 years old with a fortune estimated at $50 billion, even after spending tens of millions of his own dollars on his Foundation.
"Because of all of his connections in business and technology and philanthropy, and his raw intellect, Bill brings an integrated, futuristic view of the world," says Jeff Raikes, a former Microsoft executive who became the CEO of the foundation at about the same time Gates retired. "One day he's meeting with [Italian Prime Minister Silvio] Berlusconi about not pulling back on foreign aid, and the next day he's meeting with scientists at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute to talk about progress on an AIDS vaccine, and the next day he's meeting with Arne Duncan [the U.S. Secretary of Education] on how we'd like to recognize and reward good teachers. He really has a big picture view that is unique."
With the announcement of Craig Barrett's retirement in May, one of Intel's last links with the pre-PC era will vanish. Barrett's career at Intel started in 1974, when Intel was just seven years old and was introducing the first general-purpose microprocessor, the 8080. The 8080's descendents included the first 16-bit processor, the 8086, and the IBM PC's processor, the 8088. The IBM PC and its many descendants enabled Intel's rise to processor dominance.
Barrett became Intel's CEO in 1998, taking over for the legendary Andy Grove. Barrett's tenure as CEO saw the development of Intel's first Celeron economy CPU and high-end Pentium III processors, the introduction of the Pentium 4, diversification into communications chips, development of new Xeon and Itanium server processors, and the introduction of the Centrino portable chipset/processor technology.
During this period, Intel received formidable challenges from AMD's Athlon and Athlon XP, and frequently saw its processors beaten by AMD's processors in real-world performance tests. Barrett became chairman of Intel in 2005, and during his tenure as chairman, saw Intel retake the performance crown from AMD with the introduction of the Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, and Core i7 processor lines.
Barrett, 70, is retiring at a time in which Intel, like other technology companies, is facing tough times, and announced last week that it's closing two fab plants in the US as well as three assembly test facilities in Malaysia and the Philippines, affecting over 5,000 employees.
What was the first Intel product you used? Was it a processor, motherboard, chipset, network adapter, or something else? Looking back at Barrett's long career, what do you think were Intel's biggest hits - and misses? Join us after the jump for your chance to tell all.
Today, Bill Gates ends his full time job with Microsoft. Bill is not going away entirely; he will remain in a part time capacity so he can spend more time on his global health charity.
Since the company's founding in 1975 he has been lead the technical genius and decision maker behind it. It’s undeniable that he’s done something right given the heights he has risen to. Love Microsoft or hate it, it’s been so successful due in no small part to his drive and vision.
To celebrate Bill’s semi-retirement, here are a few of the Microsoft jokes I’ve heard over the years. Click through to read them!
Perhaps the only profile more recognizable than Bill Gates is Alfred Hitchcock, both have been called masters of horror.