William Henry "Bill" Gates III (born October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington) is an American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and author. Gates is the former chief executive officer (CEO) and current chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen. He is consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2009, excluding 2008, when he was ranked third;in 2011 he was the wealthiest American and the second wealthiest person. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, and remains the largest individual shareholder, with 6.4 percent of the common stock. He has also authored or co-authored several books.
Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Gates has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, an opinion which has in some cases been upheld by the courts.In the later stages of his career, Gates has pursued a number of
philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various
charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000.
Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January
2000. He remained as chairman and created the position of chief
software architect. In June 2006, Gates announced that he would be
transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work, and
full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He gradually
transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie, chief software architect, and Craig Mundie,
chief research and strategy officer. Gates's last full-time day at
Microsoft was June 27, 2008. He remains at Microsoft as non-executive