Bill Gates may become more active at Microsoft, assist new CEO

It’s now the second month of 2014 and we still don’t have a new CEO at Microsoft. The latest reports from sources within Microsoft pin Satya Nadella as the front runner and apparent next CEO. Those initial reports also stated that current chairman of the board, Bill Gates, would be stepping down. That might be true, but new a report indicates he’ll pick up a more active role at Microsoft.

So he’ll step down from the board, but how’s he going to remain involved? According to a report from Bloomberg he’ll help craft products that are “must-have”. He’ll remain a director at Microsoft to focus less on administration duties and more on product development. He’s currently weighing the idea of coming to Microsoft at least one day a week in this more hands-on role.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Bill Gates would remain at Microsoft with a more active role. Earlier last month Kara Swisher from Re/code had an interested piece from sources at Microsoft. In it she lays out a future where Bill Gates doesn’t fade away from Microsoft, but remains visible and more active within the company. Again, echoing the report from today from Bloomberg. It’s been six years since Gates had an active role at Microsoft, so why the need to have him back at the company with a prominent role? He has gravitas and opens doors. Gates is considered a tech visionary and definitely ranks up there among people who could make deals things happen.

This is all of course in direct conflict with statements made by Bill Gates just a few weeks ago on Bloomberg TV. On January 21st he said: “My full time work will be the foundation for the rest of my life. I’m not going to change that.” Of course a day or two at Microsoft could definitely be considered part-time.

So Windows Phone Central readers, should Bill Gates step down from the board and focus entirely on his philanthropy endeavors or should he have a slightly more active role in product development at Microsoft? Sound off below.

Source: Bloomberg, Re/code

Sam Sabri
  • Sweet. Teach him well old grasshopper!
  • Bill is the man!
  • I love him, everytime i hear microsoft i think of Bill Gates
    MS is a huge company but it needs a guy that everyone would love and he could controll the ship away from linuxbergs...
  • I'd rather see him actively working on end-user products. He's a tech guy, and he can do well in fixing the broken parts of Microsoft's latest products.
  • Bill Gates is a brilliant man, I'm sure any form of input from him would be appreciated greatly.
  • I don't want to live in a world where Bill Gates has nothing to do with Microsoft. This is good news.
  • Couldn't agree more. He is an amazing man. :) +928
  • Ditto!
  • Totally agree
  • Bill Gates should always be welcomed.
  • Bill Gates is Microsoft.
  • No Microsoft is Bill Gates
  • They are one and the same!
  • This is excellent news if true. As far as I'm concerned Bill will always be Microsoft's life source.
  • Agreed! 2014/15 are definitely looking to be years of new life!
  • What company would not want Bill Gates involved in some way?
  • Apple
  • Not entirely true, that, or at least it hasn't always been the case.  I dimly but distinctly recall a mid-80s Apple magazine ad which actually had Bill Gates in it, presumably touting the first incarnation of Excel.  I'm almost 100% sure I didn't dream it. 
  • Apple owes Gates its existence!
  • +1 Gates could've destroyed them utterly in the late 90's, but instead he saved them from extinction
  • He helped create Apple in the 80s, and helped save it from bankruptcy in the 90s,
  • Microsoft will be fine... Bill can be better used by continuing to push the fight to defeat Cancer among other things  
  • Dude, Bill will do for Microsof what Jobs did for Apple after returning. Prior to Jobs returning, Apple was basically in shambles. Microsoft has been silent in tech until recently (2-3yrs).....They really need a "Breathe for Fresh Air". If Bill will be confiring on product development, we jus might get it. Does anyone else fine it non-coincidental since they are purchasing Nokia, now they're mentioning Bill being involved in product development????
  • Jobs understood consumers and knew how to get inside their heads in an almost creepy way. And that's what Microsoft needs right now more than anything. Gates certainly has his strengths, but this isn't one of them. About the best you could hope for is him making a radical forward-looking decree akin to "a PC on every desk in every home" and having it work out again, but it's unlikely he'd be given the power/influence to do that.
  • Jobs was great at stealing ideas from others. The iPod was once call in real life The Walkman. Their computers almost crashed and burned, until jobs started using Intel chips and abandoned Motorola chips cause they were way way out dated. Now all my friends buy Mac computers..........and put windows on them via boot camp or similar programs so they can run the programs they need cause Apple won't allow programmers to use there OS. Apple makes PC's now not Mac's
  • Not only that, but Apple copied all this... Panorama + Folders = Android
    Notification Bar = Maemo
    The name "Apple" = The Beatles
    Mouse GUI = Xerox
    Reject calls with SMS = Symbian
    iMaps = Google Maps (Opps)
    Fingerprint scanning (Cracked) = PCs (Safe)
    Multitasking = webOS
    Copy/paste = WinMobile
    Ping = Facebook, Twitter
    iPad = Samsung´s Photoframe
    iPad Mini = Dell Streak
    iPod = Creative Technology and Walkman
    ‘iPhone’ name = Linksys’ iPhone®
    Original iPhone = Samsung’s S700 Mp3 Player
    iPhone 4 & 4S = LG’s Prada
    Pinch to zoom = Samsung
    iMessage = BlackBerry Messenger
    iCloud = Dropbox + Skydrive
    iOS 7 = Windows Phone.
    Smartphone Optical Stabilization = Nokia
    Siri (Clippy) = Xiaoi Bot + Nuance
    App Store = Ubuntu Software Center
    Multitouch Smartphone = Bought another company
    Bigger Screen = Everybody else
    MacBook Air = HP’s Sojourn
    Macsafe = Asian Crockery
    Thunderbolt = Intel
    OSX, iOS = Unix
    Newton = Psion Series 3, HP 95LX
    Apple Logo = Genesis 1:6, 3:6
    Aluminum = Cheapest Metal
    Plastic = ($$$ Reinforced Polymers)
    Security = Buy a new one... Steve Jobs’ own words:
    “We have been ‘ShameLESS’ about stealing great ideas”. Sued Samsung:
    At a court 10 miles from Apple HQ.
    With a Judge that was a former Apple Lawyer.
    And a Jury Forman sued into bankruptcy by a partially owned Samsung Company.
  • Dang, I should show that to my apple fan boy cousin. He has always told me that the multi touch stuff was made by apple and tons of other stuff too..
  • You can also tell your Apple fan-boy cousin that Apple (and Microsoft, for that matter) both stole, er, um..., "borrowed heavily" the GUI and mouse from XEROX's PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) Labs. 
  • All what you say might be true, but it doesn't change the fact that Apple took those previously unused or under-used ideas and found a way to combine them in a meaningful and elegant way.
  • To do it rightly, Apple should have 'Licenced' other Companies technologies! If not it's called 'Copying' and getting away with it is called 'Corruption', yet Apple sued Samsung for a patent that should not exist: "Rectangle with round corners"...  
  • You forgot the iPhone 5c which when seen in the wild shows a striking resemblance to th Lumia620 as far as design goes..
  • Got it and added it! Thanks...
  • What everyone seems to forget is that the US Dep't of "Justice" and other similar goverment agencies around the world basically tied one hand behind Microsoft's back for the better part of a dozen years. It's just been the past 2 - 3 years that the shackles have been released from the litigation and once again we see great things coming from Redmond.  Coincidence? I think not.
  • Well said. It's damn hard to run a business efficiently, and even harder to plan a market-winning strategy, with the Justice Department crawling all over you for doing such a good job that your products have become ubiquitous. You basically need to plan to lose market share or accept that it will be taken from you by the government. Not much of a choice.
  • if pharmacy find the cure now,at least 5mil of people in usa would lose their calculate...:S
  • Not to mention if all those people stop dying, how will you feed them all? The world can only sustain a finite number of people...
  • Bill Gates to lead the Wp9 team !!
  • Lol, obviously.
  • I guess this is a poll to determine our emotional connection with Bill Gates and Microsoft. Only last week, it was reported that he was being "ousted" as the chairman. Now he's going to assist the new CEO. Rumors can be fun at times I guess but hardly constructive.
  • Damn Sam, proofread.    Like the news about Gates, I think he'll be able to get the various MS teams pulling in the same direction on things for a change. The biggest thing he could do is speed up the release cycles for the various OS products and their adjacent services.  
  • Stay forever Bill!
  • On one hand I would love to see Bill Gates back at Microsoft, but on the other hand what he is doing now is far more important.
  • Very true. I feel the needs of the world outweigh the needs of one tech company.
  • We need clones
  • Stock should go up if this happens. He belongs there even part time! Great news if this happens!
  • I'd love for him to make a spoof of him returning like he did when he left, it was classic!
  • If this is true, maybe he is planning both philanthropy and tech combo?
  • Using tech to "empower us all"?
  • More Bill....
  • Bill is great. Don't get me wrong but does anyone remember the Courier?  Bill killed it because it didn't have a stand alone email client.  The device would've propelled MS.  They could've added an email client later.  Let's hope he doesn't get there and kill something important! Plus his work he is doing now seems more important.   
  • Kill what how if he's not active in day to day production.
  • "So he’ll step down from the board, but how’s he going to remain involved? According to a report from Bloomberg he’ll help craft products that are “must-have”. He’ll remain a director at Microsoft to focus less on administration duties and more on product development. He’s currently weighing the idea of coming to Microsoft at least one day a week in this more hands-on role." Suggesting that something gets killed to the new CEO and or anyone else at MS that can make decisions for the company.  I'd hope he wouldn't but you never know.  He's a great guy but killing the Courier was a bad decision IMO.  It could've ended Apple.
  • Sorry to break it to you, but this would have not been a hit with the masses, but would have appeal to a select group of people.....he did the right thing.
  • I disagree.  It was very flashy and cool looking and that's what people (the masses like).  It was a great idea.  It would've gotten MS a BIG foot in the tablet door. 
  • I showed and told people at work about the courier long before it was canceled, not knowing it would eventually be canned. While I would have purchased one, I knew I would be a minority when it came to ownership. While I wish that every Microsoft product could be a success, I stand firm on my assumption that the courier would not have blown the doors off of the tech world. They can still resurrect it if they choose to do so.....If for some strange twighlight zone reason they do, I will be the first one cheering for its success.
  • "It is about you and me getting Xboxes, Cartman"
  • "Now who's walking who through the betrayal garden?  Get outta my yard!"
  • While what Bill does at the Foundation is unquestionably important, does anyone remember the MS Superbowl commercial? It just showed what MS does in technology is also very important to the world. So by extension Bill doing work at MS furthers the goals of the Foundation for bettering the world. Same work, different office so to speak.
  • +928
  • i just mentioned this in a reply hahaha +1
  • Sounds good to me
  • Don't shut Gate out.
  • Since Microsoft has gone downhill since he left and that moron Ballmer took charge, I would gladly see Bill back at the helm. However, I don't believe he will be returning. From what I read, his return to advise was a direct request from Nadella. But I believe Gates will return to an active role as much as I believe Sundar Pichai from Google is in the front run with chances of becoming Microsoft's next CEO.
  • sometimes i get amazed how stupid you are, and how much crap you say like if you knew what you were talking about.
    I know you wont stop commenting but wow... I wish a meteor or a plane or a bomb or whatever would fall on your mom's basement, where you live so you can finally shut up and stop talking crap and insulting other like if you were the smart. Ballmer moron? see, you are an idiot, and you really need help, I dont even think Bill Gates can find a cure for you. its funny how "morons" now can make a company get more and more billions every year. sadly you are a smart and a loser and cant do that, oh wait... im sure you are the moron, not Ballmer. why dont you get a gun and play with it until you dont exist? or cut your hands and cut your eyes so you cant even use the eye tracking Microsoft showed in the super bowl? its just sad to see someone like you i this community, pathetic losers like you should never exist.
  • Who let you out? Go back to the kitchen.
  • What a long post just to say you hate it when he said "moron Balmer" thing. Do you have a grunge at him?
  • Boy, this escalated quickly!
  • How much is Gates responsible for the Vista debacle? He left around that time. If Vista was Gates' responsibility, then it might be better if he stays away.
  • Lol wat ?
  • There were almost 7 years between Gates stepping down as CEO (early 2000) and Windows Vista's release (late 2006) so I don't think he could be held responsible for that one.    The biggest issue with Vista is that MS changed their driver architecture for nearly all hardware and the manufacturers initial attempts at new compatible drivers had a lot of issues.  As a result, performance and reliability suffered.  That wasn't really an issue with the OS per se, but to the user it doesn't matter.  Vista (even pre SP1) actually worked very well once mature drivers were available, but for a lot of systems that was a long wait.  There were also a lot of poorly written programs out there that didn't follow standards and broke when MS reorganized things and locked down security in Vista.    MS really made too many changes at once with Vista.  They really should have released something between XP and Vista so the changes would have been more gradual.  5 years was too long.  Of course Ballmer has said the same thing himself publically and I think he has even cited it as his biggest mistake/regret as CEO.
  • Vista was used by keyboard warriors the world over as a stick with which to beat Microsoft at a time when Microsoft's image as "The Man" was at its height.  It was nowhere near as bad as people's received wisdom would imply and effectively became Windows 7.  It had its flaws, admittedly, and wasn't really ready for public consumption, but the same criticism could have been levelled at Mac OS X 10.0, too.
  • ^ this...
  • Vista was Ballmer's greatest regret... and it was actually a really good OS once I got around to using it (after SP1). I was surprised at how good it was, and solved a lot of the small niggling issues in XP. Besides UAC (easily disabled, if so inclined) I didn't know what all the fuss was about
  • Gates is not coming back to MS in a meaningful capacity. Philanthropy is his top priority and passion now. Frankly, he is getting old and has bigger things to worry about than notification centers in smartphones. And if you watched his interview on Charlie Rose, he's still hung up on handwriting input on tablets.
  • Bill is like the older brother that knows his younger brother(Steve) is a screw up, but had to come to the realization that his sibling is screwing up too much. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Ballmer just doesn't have much personal appeal... it's hard to find a bald, fat, sweaty, loud-mouthed, used-car saleman appealing. Also, he's been there for a long time - it's time for some new blood
  • Yessssss!
  • It is about time they will put somebody with the balls! Show them Bill how YOU do it!
  • mandandory "BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL!"
  • I think Bill Gates of the past and Bill Gates today are totally different people, so I think that having a more active BG at Microsoft again would be a good thing. However, I certainly hope he continues to focus mostly on his foundation work, because that is both a huge and highly worthwhile initiative that deserves such a focus.
  • I think he is needed at Microsoft. He truly is a visionary and that's what a successful company needs. I personally don't think you can make a company successful with just business way of thinking. The business part won't go far if it doesn't have passion behind it. And no, money can't be that passion!
  • best news about MS this year
  • For the love God can someone just report once a new CEO has been chosen. Enough with all the speculation already. Just report when everything is a done deal.
  • Bill gates be like
    "alright that's enough, now let daddy drive the car"
  •   If Bill can right the ship and prevent disasters like Vista and Windows 8 while at the same time, keeping the Xbox One, Bing and WP8 on the right path to crushing Apple and Google, while coming up with innovative ideas for the future that aren't rehashes of things that other (aforementioned) companies are already doing, I'm all for it.
  • Win8 wasn't a disaster, it just was different, like the switch from cathode ray TVs to flat screens. Embrace it! :)
  •   I have embraced it. I love W8 on my phone. I love it on tablets. On desktops, it needs a lot more work. I understand that Microsoft was trying to be bold and innovative and bridge the gap between portable touchscreen devices and desktops but they made a crucial mistake when they removed a lot of the usability in the process. PC sales are falling because people are opting for cellphones and tablets and the sharp contrast between Windows 7 and 8 isn't really stemming the tide like they hoped. What they should of done is started Windows 8 out on tablets, phones, xbox and let people get used to it for a few years and then, when the OS had fully matured, brought it over to the pc environment. Because right now, the only thing the updates are doing to Windows 8 are restoring lost functionality and making it look and feel more like Windows 7 which to me, says that it's a disaster.
  • Big Bill is top man end of
  • Awesome
  • Bill Gates is and always will be Microsoft no matter what he chooses to do with his life
  • As stated he would be coming part time so i feel happy both ways!
  • I know Gates wasn't CEO when Vista was released, but he still was an active chairman at the time. Interesting he chose to leave daily activities at Microsoft around the time Vista was released. It's almost as if he wanted to ensure nobody would blame him for Vista.
  • microsoft is going to get better soon.......  :) happyface :)
  • Out with douchey car salesman in with more professional bright men hopefully.
  • Well "our" Bill is still alive and kicking. So lets wait and see. 
  • .It'll be good to hear his name mentioned more often as it relates to this firm but I hope he hasn't been out of the game too long.
  • do you guys ever proof read before submitting your stories?
  • ^ dick
  • If this is all true, I would actually love to see Bill retain a position on the BoD, perhaps as "Chairman Emeritus." That way, he could still have a direct voice with the Board.  I'd be delighted to see him back in an active role at Microsoft, too.  As for the philanthropy with the Foundation, let's not forget it's the "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation," and for a long while, Melinda led the charge.  I would venture to say she's every bit as capable as Bill at making sure the Foundation's work continues if his presence at the Foundation diminishes a bit. And remember, work is only "work" when you don't love what you do.  I think Bill loves what he does, no matter where he's working.
  • Get back to running your own company Bill and let Melinda run your gates foundation. Kudos to saving millions of ppls lives and immunizing and preventing disease but your company that made the fortune to allow you to do it is slowly dying and desperately needs your genius brain back in charge. C'mon Mr Gates pull your finger out.