To move away from the large corporation you founded and nurtured over the years to a future in philantrophy is a challenge that very few people would choose to take. Yet, one of the biggest names in business has just done so. He is William Henry Gates III, known the world over simply as Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft and estimated to be the third richest person in the world.
He has decided to move his focus away from the company he co-founded way back in 1975 with Paul Allen to concentrate on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
On June 27, Bill stepped down as the CEO of Microsoft, the job now going to Steve Ballmer. In a teary farewell at the Company’s headquarters in Richmond, Gates told the assembled employees that there won’t be a day in his life when he won’t be thinking of Microsoft. He remains the non-executive Chairman of Microsoft and the largest single share holder.
There is much for him to rejoice about- if one considers what a giant the company he co-founded when he dropped out of Harvard has turned to be. His charisma and his vision for Microsoft were two factors that were instrumental in driving year on year growth for that organisation over several decades.
I am sure Gates will bring the same amount of passion and energy in his new area of interest. Working to provide health care and education to alleviate poverty around the world is a noble endeavour. If founding Microsoft was in a sense a pioneering move, would this be one too? Over the years will his move be emulated by other business tycoons?
Will they, like Bill Gates, seek fulfillment out of doing good for others after they have done good for themselves?
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This is Post No: 210 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success