Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Wednesday, July 22, 1998 Published at 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK


Business: The Company File

Microsoft's new president

Bill Gates choses his successor

Bill Gates has let his No.2 take day-to-day management duties at Microsoft.

Long-time friend Steve Ballmer has been appointed president of Microsoft and possible successor to the world's richest man.

Bill Gates, who is 42, says he has no intention of retiring soon and will continue as chairman and chief executive officer. He says he will now concentrate on the long-term development of new products.

"In no way am I pulling back," said Mr Gates.


[ image: Steve Bullmer, new president of Microsoft]
Steve Bullmer, new president of Microsoft
Steve Ballmer masterminded Microsoft's aggressive marketing and sales campaigns which landed the company in trouble with the US Department of Justice.

In a memo to employees, Bill Gates said the president's role would be "to delight our customers."

He will be charge of boosting business discipline, getting closer to customers, and creating a more flexible corporation.

But chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold, who planned Microsoft's assault on the internet, will continue to report directly to Mr. Gates.

Court case looming

The world's biggest software manufacturer has been accused of squeezing out rivals and monopolising the market. But the company has vigorously defended itself against the claim.

Mr Ballmer may take a more high profile role in the public defence of Microsoft in the future.

Bill Gates, after testifying before Congress on the matter in the spring, declined to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday in a session featuring rivals Oracle and IBM.

Steve Ballmer said that as a result of his promotion, he may be free "to beat the drum even louder" in the interests of the company.

His more charismatic personality could help modify Microsoft's public image.

Mr Ballmer joined Microsoft in l980 after working for Procter and Gamble. He is a contemporary of Mr Gates at Harvard University, and attended Stanford Business School.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


The Company File Contents

Relevant Stories

16 Jul 98 | The Company File
Windows 98 boosts Microsoft profits

21 Jun 98 | The Economy
Gates tops rich list

11 Jun 98 | The Company File
Going after Microsoft





Internet Links

Microsoft press release


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles