The 50-year-old Gates "will transition out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation," Microsoft said Thursday in a statement.
There will be a two-year transition process to ensure a smooth and orderly transfer of Gates' daily responsibilities, and after July 2008 Gates will continue to serve as the company's chairman and an adviser on key development projects.
In related moves, Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie immediately assumes the title of chief software architect and begins working with Gates on all technical architecture and product oversight responsibilities and Chief Technical Officer Craig Mundie immediately becomes chief research and strategy officer and begins working with Gates to assume his responsibility for the company's research and incubation efforts.
"I feel very fortunate to have such great technical leaders like Ray and Craig at the company," Gates said. "I remain fully committed and full time at Microsoft through June 2008 and will be working side by side with Ray and Craig to ensure that a smooth transition occurs."