Bill Gates today ruled out ever returning to the helm of Microsoft after Fortune reported rumors this month that Gates was considering a comeback to Microsoft, the company he founded in 1975 but stepped back from in 2006 to focus full-time on philanthropy. Gates spoke today in Sydney, where he is on holiday with his family, that he had made the transition to work full-time at his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “and that will be what I do the rest of my life”.
“I’m part-time involved with Microsoft, including even being in touch this week to give some of my advice but that’s not going to change – the foundation requires all of my energy and we feel we’re having a great impact.”
Gates on Steve Jobs
Gates also dismissed harsh barbs by his former arch-rival Steve Job stating in an interview with Fairfax Media that Jobs was driven by the fact that “Microsoft machines outsold his machines by a lot”.
Jobs had said during an interview with his biographer, Walter Isaacson. “Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology… He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.”
Gates said today “Our work at Microsoft was super successful for all good reasons but Steve made huge contributions and he actually in his last few years was a lot kinder than that but over the years he did say some tough things.”
Gates also said Jobs was “brilliant” and he enjoyed working with him on Mac software and also competing with him, but “because the Microsoft machines outsold his machines by a lot he was always kind of tough on Microsoft, but that’s fine, he was a brilliant person”.