Leaders in the spotlight: Bill Gates

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William Henry Gates III, more commonly known as Bill Gates, is an American business magnate, investor, entrepreneur and principal founder of the Microsoft Corporation.

Born in Seattle, Washington on October 28 1955 to father William Snr and mother Mary – Bill was interested in the tech world from a very early age.

At 13, while in private education he took interest in early GE tech and computing and that interest developed until he took at place at Harvard in 1971.

He would only stay there for two years and had not definitive study plan while he was there. He had an active interest in the computer sciences and this led to him to leaving the university to take up a role at American conglomerate firm, Honeywell, in 1974.

In 1975, Gates and his business partner Paul Allen launched Microsoft, which has grown into the largest PC software company in the world – with 2017 revenues reaching $90 billion. Over the years, Microsoft continued to develop.

Gates is regarded as one of the original adopters and visionaries for the ‘personal computer revolution’ that started in the 1970s and is still alive and well today.

The original BASIC program in which Gates’ developed, turned into one of the original adaptations of the floppy disk system.

Five years’ later, Microsoft partnered with IT giant, IBM, to develop the company’s personal computer system. This led to a rapid growth in the Microsoft business and led to major restricting of the business to prepare for a further tech revolution.

In 1985, Microsoft launched the original Windows program, which over the coming years’ developed into the series of Office programs.

Between 1994 and 2018, the company developed its web-based hardware/software products, mobile phones, and the creation of the personal gaming system, Xbox.

In 2006, Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full time work at Microsoft to part time, in a move that saw him and his wife Melinda work full time for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – which had been created six years earlier.

The charity is said to be the largest private foundation in the world, with an estimated £38 billion worth of assets. The primary aim of the charity is to enhance healthcare and reduce poverty, while expanding educational and technology opportunities to millions around the world.

During his time at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and Chairman, but following his announcement that he was stepping down as CEO in 2000, he created the role of Chief Software Architect – a role he still holds today.

Gates was also the largest individual shareholder in the business until 2014. His personal wealth has always been common knowledge within the media.

From 1995 to 2017, he held the title as the richest man in the world – and was only pipped to first place by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos due to Gates’ philanthropic and charity work. Gates’ current personal wealth is an estimated $92 billion.

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