News agency Reuters (News - Alert) reports that Jeff Raikes, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s $38 billion philanthropy organization, has announced his pending retirement to pursue other interests. In an e-mail to the employees at the Gates Foundation, Raikes wrote, "I'm looking forward to doing some things I haven't had time for, including my work at the Raikes Foundation, which is tackling youth and education issues.” The Gates Foundation said that Raikes will remain in his position until a successor is named.
As per this report, Raikes is a former Microsoft (News - Alert) executive who took this job in 2008. Some observers think that the Nebraska native may be in line for Microsoft's next CEO position, but the Gates Foundation CEO gave no indication regarding the Microsoft opportunity.
Raikes’ e-mail continued to talk about his work and accomplishments which have had a positive impact on people’s lives every single day. The organization is set up to have an even bigger impact in the years to come, according to Raikes.
In a statement, Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates (News - Alert) said, “The foundation is in the best shape that it’s ever been in, thanks to Jeff. He has successfully managed the organization through a period of significant growth, built a phenomenal leadership team, and set us on a great path programmatically. Thanks to Jeff we are at the place now where we will be able to have the impact we want.”
Similarly, Gates’ wife Melinda added, “Jeff has been a wonderful collaborator. He kept us looking ahead and positioned the foundation, and Bill and me, for long-term success. He always stressed the importance of partnership and continuous learning, which has been invaluable to improving the work we do.” Similar comments were also made by Warren Buffett, trustee of the foundation.
Before joining the foundation, Raikes was a member of Microsoft's senior leadership team, which sets overall strategy and direction for the company. Raikes was president of the Microsoft Business Division and oversaw the Information Worker, Server & Tools Business and Microsoft Business Solutions groups. He previously served as group vice president of the Worldwide Sales and Support Group, where he was responsible for providing strategic leadership for Microsoft's sales, marketing, and service initiatives. Before that, he served as senior vice president of Microsoft North America.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson