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Gates calls time

Bill Gates may just have found the answer to the question of what do you give the man who has everything: some time off work.

Bill Gates may just have found the answer to the question of what do you give the man who has everything: some time off work.

Microsoft’s chairman said this month that he is to stand down from full-time duties, relinquishing his role as chief software architect immediately and moving to a part-time position in the company over the next two years.

By cutting back on his time at Microsoft, Gates will be able to devote more attention to his charity work, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he said this month.

“This was a hard decision for me,” he said in a statement. “I’m very lucky to have two passions that I feel are so important and so challenging. As I prepare for this change, I firmly believe the road ahead for Microsoft is as bright as ever.”

Analysts and industry watchers were less certain, with Microsoft’s share price dipping following the announcement and observers expressing concern whether Microsoft will be the same firm without its founder.

Microsoft has been keen to position the move as part of a steady transition process, going back to 2000 and Gates’ handing the CEO role to his close friend Steve Ballmer.

The chief software architect role will now go to Ray Ozzie, while company veteran Craig Mundie will take the newly created post of chief research and strategy officer.

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