Bill Gates May Step Down as Microsoft Chairman

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is rumored to be stepping down as chairman of the company. Instead, heEUll use his wits to helping develop innovative products. ThatEUs according to a Bloomberg report. John Thompson, a Microsoft board member, is rumored to be taking his place.

Gates would still have a seat on the board, which seems poised to name Satya Nadella as Redmond's next chief. In his new role, the Microsoft powerhouse would focus less on administration and more on product development, Bloomberg said.

EUBillEUs product reviews were legendary, and MicrosoftEUs products would benefit from his input,EU Todd Warren, a 22-year Microsoft executive who left in 2009, told Bloomberg. EUMy concern would be that the tech landscape has shifted away from the PC in recent years.EU

A Needed Change

We caught up with Rob Enderle, principal analyst at The Enderle Group, to get his take on the Gates hubbub. He told us, first off, that Thompson is an experienced executive at IBM and Symantec and very well regarded for his term in both companies. Enderle expects his software expertise to help him fulfill his role as chairman of the board.

EUGates was kibitzing too much. If you remember, they had the Courier tablet, which would have been released very timely against the iPad,EU Enderle said. EUGatesEU concerns about it not running Office killed it and that delayed it a couple of years and by that time the iPad was dominating. Microsoft saw the writing on the wall and have been swimming upstream ever since.EU

Gates hasnEUt been exclusively focused on Microsoft for many years -- and he canEUt parachute in and out at will because his experience with the firm is now a decade and a half old, he said. Indeed, Gates started winding down his focus on Microsoft when Steve Ballmer took over as CEO in...

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