House of Gates in transition

Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

TEXT OF STORY

TESS VIGELAND: Tell me you haven't dreamed about doing this: Start your own company. Make gazillions of dollars. Hand over the day-to-day management of your company when you're 50. Spend the rest of your life giving money and attention to worthy causes. Welcome to Bill Gates' life. But will the company he co-founded be the same without him? Marketplace's Stacey Vanek-Smith has the answer.


STACEY VANEK-SMITH: It was the retirement heard round the world.

[ Bill Gates retirement announcement: "I have decided that two years from today, I will reorder my personal priorities" ]

Bill Gates announced he will gradually minimize his role at Microsoft in order to devote himself to the charity work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates named Microsoft's Chief Technical Officers Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie as his successors. But will Microsoft be Microsoft without Gates?

Tech analyst Tim Bajarin with Creative Strategies says yes. He says Gates has been grooming a capable team to replace him for years.

TIM BAJARIN: All of these guys who've clearly know Gates' vision and they know how to implement it. The fact that Gates is stepping away should have minimal impact.

The Gates Foundation is the world's largest charitable organization with more than $29 billion in assets. Bajarin says Gates' resources and creativity might really make a difference if he can do for education and healthcare what he did for the software industry.

I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.

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