Bill Gates – co-founder of Microsoft
William Henry Gates III is an American business magnate and philanthropist. He is a co-founder of Microsoft, along with his late childhood friend Paul Allen. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), president and chief software architect, while also being the largest individual shareholder until May 2014.
He was a major entrepreneur of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. Gates founded Microsoft in 1975 with Paul Allen and has since become the largest PC software company worldwide. Gates has pursued many business and philanthropic endeavors. He is the founder and chairman of several companies, including BEN, Cascade Investment, bgC3, and TerraPower.
Gates led the company as chairman and CEO until stepping down as CEO in January 2000, succeeded by Steve Ballmer, but he remained chairman of the board of directors and became chief software architect. In June 2008, Gates transitioned to a part-time role at Microsoft and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the private charitable foundation he and his then-wife Melinda established in 2000. In March 2020, Gates left his board positions at Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway to focus on his philanthropic efforts on climate change, global health and development, and education.