Bill Gates Steps Down from Daily Duties

William Henry "Bill" Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, philanthropist, and chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen.

He is ranked consistently one of the world's wealthiest people and the wealthiest overall as of 2009. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, and remains the largest individual shareholder with more than 8 percent of the common stock. He has also authored or co-authored several books.

Bill Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January, 2000. He remained as chairman and created the position of chief software architect. In June, 2006, Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He gradually transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie, chief software architect and Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer. Gates' last full-time day at Microsoft was June 27, 2008. He remains at Microsoft as non-executive chairman.

On June 27, 2008, Bill Gates retired from day-to day activities in the company, following a two year transition period from his role as Chief Software Architect, which was taken by Ray Ozzie, but remained the company's chairman, head of the Board of Directors and would act as an adviser on key projects. Windows Vista, released in January 2007, was Microsoft's latest operating system and had sold 300 million copies by December 2008. Microsoft Office 2007, released at the same time, features a "Ribbon" user interface which is a significant departure from its predecessors. Relatively strong sales of both titles helped to produce a record profit in 2007.