Microsoft Without Bill Gates? His Final Week Begins

The 52-year-old has slowly backed away from the software company's operations
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jun 23, 2008 10:41 AM CDT
Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates.   (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)
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(Newser) – This will be Bill Gates’ last Monday at Microsoft, the company that the 52-year-old founded with business partner Paul Allen as a teenager. He’s retiring Friday from Microsoft’s day-to-day business and beginning full-time work with his $37.3 billion philanthropic organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He's been planning this week for 4 years, and Newsweek takes a look at the bizarre notion of a Gates-less Microsoft .

While he won’t be in the office every day, Gates plans to spend one day a week on Microsoft business. He’ll remain as the company’s chairman, assuring that his voice will be heard on everything from product development to corporate leadership. The change, however, promises to be profound for both him and the company, which faces challenges ranging from stagnant stock to competition from Google. "He's not just Bill Gates, he's the Bill Gates," says CEO Steve Ballmer.