Bill Gates is not returning as CEO of Microsoft

15 Dec 2011

Bill Gates, former Microsoft CEO

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates denied he would return to lead the tech company again, burying rumours which emerged this month.

An unnamed chief executive told Fortune that Gates was considering becoming CEO of Microsoft again after he stepped down in 2006 to work on philanthropy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This followed research from Glassdoor which saw Microsoft’s current CEO Steve Ballmer get ranked as the third-worst tech company CEO. The ratings were based on employee reviews.

Gates’ rumoured return was compared to when Steve Jobs became CEO of Apple again in 1997 after being ousted from the company in 1985. His return revitalised Apple, turning it into one of the most valuable companies in the world.

However, Gates denied these rumours to the Sydney Morning Herald, saying he will work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the rest of his 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,” he said.

Gates was also asked about what he thought of Jobs’ view that he was “unimaginative” and hadn’t invented anything. Gates responded that he thought Jobs was “brilliant” and enjoyed working and competing with him, but he said that because Microsoft’s machines outsold Apple’s, he believed that Jobs was “kind of tough on Microsoft.”