Nine years ago, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates left day-to-day operations at Microsoft to focus on his philanthropic work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The former Chief Software architect didn’t completely cut ties with the Redmond giant though, continuing to do part-time work at the company and remaining Chairman of the board until February 2014. Since then, Gates has been assuming a new role as a Technical Advisor, supporting CEO Satya Nadella in his new executive position. And this is a part-time job that Gates really enjoys as of today.
In a new interview with GeekWire, Bill Gates shared that he still cares very much about the company he co-founded four decades ago. “I get to push a little bit and share ideas in my part-time work,” he explained, adding that he has a great relationship with Microsoft’s current executive team. “I’m very lucky that Satya and the team there creates an atmosphere that going in and pushing them a little bit and sending memos; they make that fun for me and actually, some of those ideas they latch onto,” he continued.
Answering a question about his areas of focus during his part-time advisor role, Gates shared that he’s really interested in how natural language could change our computing habits in the near future. “That is very cutting edge and that influences a lot of the Bing investments we made over time, making it not just string search but deep understanding,” he explained.
If Gates also acknowledges in the interview that Windows is becoming a less important asset for Microsoft in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, the company still remains “a great software company doing some unique work” according to him. “Our leadership has that, we are the best in certain ways, and so we get the best people. That kind of positive dynamic is quite good, so I love what’s going on there, it’s fun,” he concluded.