Born on October 28th 1955 in Seattle Washington ( Aged 65 at the time of writing) William Henry Gates, formally known as Bill Gates is a business magnate, software developer, investor, author and philanthropist he is most known for being one of the co-founders of Microsoft (MSFT) along with co-founder Paul Allen. Bill has also founded and become chairman of several other companies such as BEN, Cascade Investment, bgC3 and Terrapower.
Bill co-founded Microsoft at just 19 years of age, forming the company in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1975. During his time at Microsoft Bill held many positions such as Chief Executive Officer, President, Chairman as well as software architect. He was well known for his business tactics and ;labeled by many as anti-competitive.
Despite stepping down from CEO in 2000 ; at the height of the Dotcom Bubble; then from all other roles in 2008 to a more part time role at Microsoft as Chairman of the board, he was and still is the largest individual shareholder in Microsoft from 1975 until today, although his shares have been diluted 9 times reducing his original stake of 49% ; in 1986 when Microsoft first went public; down to just 1.3% Microsoft was hailed for being one of the largest computing companies in the world (currently valued at $1.96 Trillion).
Bill stepped down to a more part time position at Microsoft to move to a full time role at his charitable organisation The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the largest private charitable fund, started in 2000 that focuses on tackling climate change issues, global health and development as well as progressing education. In 2010, along with his good friend and legendary investor, CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway; a conglomerate holding company; set up the “Giving Pledge”. An organisation aimed at allowing billionaires to pledge at least half of all their wealth to philanthropy.
In February 2014, Bill stepped down as Chairman of the Board to an even less hands-on position serving as technology advisor to support the newly (at the time) appointed C.E.O of Microsoft, Satya Nadella. Finally in 2020 Bill stepped down from all positions in both Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft to focus his efforts on his philanthropic goals.
Bill Gates rose to fame when he first became the richest man in the world. He really has done well. He first entered the Forbes “list of wealthiest people” in 1995 and held that title until 2007 when he was overtaken for a year in 2008 by Warren Buffet, Bill was back as the richest in 2009 then over taken again from 2010 to 2013 by Carlos Slim Helu. Bill was back on top in 2014 and 2017 however since then Amazon founder and tech-billionaire Jeff Bezos took over the list from 2018 to 2021. As of June 2021, Bill has an estimated net worth of $126.9 Billion placing him at the number 4 spot on the Forbes rich list behind Bernard Arnult, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.