John Thompson Takes Over Role of Chairman of the Board From Bill Gates; Gates to Become ‘Technology Advisor’

10

Well credit to Hal Berenson who nailed this a few weeks back, but Bill Gates will no longer be chairman of the board at Microsoft.  His new role will be Technical Advisor focusing on products and technologies.  Bill Gates claims he will now spend a third of this time at the company, up from 20 – 25% previously.  Gates will still retain a seat on the board, but he will no longer be chairman.  I think Mary Jo Foley nailed it earlier this week when she said this was likely more for PR than reality.



About Author

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • redtidal

    I think the philanthropy work that Gates has done really humbled him and hopeful it also gave him new prospective on how consumers really want and use technology.

    Looking forward to the new One Microsoft been implemented by Nadella and team

    • Nham Thien Duong

      True, Gates may have become a better person, but he was a horrible boss (from what I’ve heard) in the past, and Microsoft under him was pretty much ”the Big Evil Coorporation” everyone thinks of, Ballmer made it a better company, and I think that because Gates is a better person now that he’ll have less time to be at Microsoft.

  • SategB

    MSFT Board = Dysfunctional

    Push the CEO out, have no succession plan ready, take 7 months to find replacement, let pushed out CEO stay on as Board member.

    • http://www.simonpauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

      You have no idea what you are talking about. Finding the right CEO can easily take a company 6 months are more. I’ve worked/work in companies where just a CMO has taken that long or longer to find. Head hunting takes time, especially for such a niche position that is so vital to the face of the company and it’s longer term vision/goals.

      • SategB

        Good companies have succession plans. So rather then allowing a weak CEO to fire potential replacements as Ballmer did, they are training their replacements .

        It appears you have worked for some poorly managed companies.

        • http://www.simonpauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

          Ha, you’re pretty naive if you think it is always that easy. Sometimes yes, you can do some searching ahead of time from internal candidates or external ones. However, that is not always possible. Or sometimes that position maybe be relieved prematurely. Microsoft could have done the same thing by not even mentioning Steve Balmer was stepping down until a new one was chosen, but in this case they didn’t. Maybe they knew it would leak anyways.

          • SategB

            That is the difference between good management and bad management, they find a way to do thing that “are not so easy”.

            The board failure to act on Ballmer’s bad management sooner lead to the problem. A good board would have been working on succession plans after the Vista failure.

          • Guest

            After Vista? What? Vista wasn’t even that bad. It was just too heavy of an OS and the hardware at the time wasn’t quite up to the task. Then just a couple years later Windows 7 was released and is/was the best selling OS of all times. And Balmer was still in charge then.

            So in your mind, if one semi-bad product is released, or has bugs, a company should bail on their CEO ASAP? Now that is bad management.

          • http://www.simonpauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

            Wait, after Vista? What? Vista wasn’t even that bad. It was just too heavy of an OS and the hardware at the time wasn’t quite up to the task. Then just a couple years later Windows 7 was released and is/was the best selling OS of all times. And Balmer was still in charge then.

            So in your mind, if one semi-bad product is released, or has bugs, a company should bail on their CEO ASAP? Now that is bad management.

          • SategB

            Not just a bad product, but years of waited time in development that put the company years behind emerging market while being dismissive of those trends that was exhibited during Vasta years.