Microsoft names Satya Nadella CEO as Bill Gates demoted from Chairman to ‘Technology Advisor’

Following the announcement last August that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was out the door as soon as the company could find a new captain to lead the ship, the Board finally announced today that it has found its guy: Satya Nadella.

As part of the changes, founder and former CEO Bill Gates has agreed to step down from the Board and into a new role as ‘technology advisor’. Gates says he will step up his time at the company meeting with various groups and helping with future products at the request of Nadella. Read more

Jimmy Fallon scrambles to hide his MacBook during Bill Gates interview (Video)

Bill Gates stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night to talk about his various charitable endeavours and to promote the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual letter published today. Despite the serious subject matter, Jimmy still managed to squeeze in a few laughs including apologizing for the MacBook and Apple keyboard and mouse that sit on his desk each night before removing them for the rest of the interview.

And then there was this: Read more

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer calls it quits, will leave within 12 months or when a successor is found

Steve-Ballmer-Quits-CEO-Microsoft

Screen Shot 2013-08-23 at 3.16.19 PMMicrosoft’s stock is surging, up 8% in pre-market on the news that Steve Ballmer will be vacating the CEO role within the next year.:

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 23, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most.

“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,” Ballmer said. “We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.”

The Board of Directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process. This committee is chaired by John Thompson, the board’s lead independent director, and includes Chairman of the Board Bill Gates, Chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and Chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo. The special committee is working with Heidrick & Struggles International Inc., a leading executive recruiting firm, and will consider both external and internal candidates.

“The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company,” Thompson said. “As this work continues, we are focused on selecting a new CEO to work with the company’s senior leadership team to chart the company’s course and execute on it in a highly competitive industry.”

“As a member of the succession planning committee, I’ll work closely with the other members of the board to identify a great new CEO,” said Gates. “We’re fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties.”

Microsoft’s stock has been flat since Ballmer took over the CEO roll from Bill Gates at the turn of the century. Ballmer has faced increasing criticism lately over the failure of the Surface RT and Windows Phones in a market dominated by Apple’s iOS devices and Android/Google devices. Perhaps his biggest gaffe was laughing off the importance of the iPhone (below).

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Bill Gates thinks your iPad is frustrating without Office and a keyboard [Video]

Bill Gates and Conan O'Brian play an Xbox game at CES in Las Vegas

Frustrated with your iPad’s lack of Office and no physical keyboard? Probably not but that doesn’t stop Bill Gates from believing it.

Serving as the lone hero for Microsoft’s compromise PC-tablet (the Surface Pro even has a fan, you know, like a PC), the Microsoft co-founder cited users’ growing frustration with the software and hardware limitations of the iPad as we move further into the post-PC reality.

The problem with this notion, as we all know, is that no shortage of keyboard cases for the iPad exists and productivity users have long since found a solution for their Office needs.

Microsoft has been rumored to launch Office for iOS for a while now, but it is hard to recall why it matters anymore with so many other solutions available.

Check out the 7:30 mark in the video below:

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Bill Gates reflects on relationship with Steve Jobs and their last meeting [video]

The Steve Jobs segment begins at mark 3:35. Flashless version is here.

Microsoft cofounder and former CEO Bill Gates sat for an interesting interview with Yahoo! and ABC News. The public face of Microsoft responded to a wide range of questions, including those touching on his final conversation with Steve Jobs and how his passing affected him. Contrary to the popular belief, the two Silicon Valley luminaries kept in contact with each other throughout their respective careers. What were the topics of their friendly chats?

He and I always enjoyed talking. He would throw some things out, you know, some stimulating things. We’d talk about the other companies that have come along. We talked about our families and how lucky we’d both been in terms of the women we married. It was great relaxed conversation.

How did Jobs’ death affect Gates? Read on…
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Bill Gates on Jobs bio quotes “he said a lot of very nice things about me and he said a lot of tough things” [Video]

Gates defends himself slightly but seems smart enough (and secure enough) not to handle the tough words head on.

“Well, Steve and I worked together, creating the Mac. We had more people on it, did the key software for it.”

“So, over the course of the 30 years we worked together, you know, he said a lot of very nice things about me and he said a lot of tough things. I mean, he faced several times at Apple the fact that their products were so premium priced they literally might not stay in the marketplace. So, the fact that we were succeeding with high-volume products, including a range of prices, because of the way we worked with multiple companies, its tough.”

“At various times, he felt beleaguered. He felt like he was the good guy and we were the bad guys. You know, very understandable. I respect Steve, we got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all.”

It is getting harder and harder to hate Bill.

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